Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Health Econ. 2011 Oct;12(5):455-67. doi: 10.1007/s10198-010-0258-y. Epub 2010 Jun 5.

Cost of low back pain in Switzerland in 2005.

Author information

Winterthur Institute of Health Economics WIG, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, P.O. Box 958, St. Georgenstrasse 70, 8401, Winterthur, Switzerland.


Low back pain (LBP) is the most prevalent health problem in Switzerland and a leading cause of reduced work performance and disability. This study estimated the total cost of LBP in Switzerland in 2005 from a societal perspective using a bottom-up prevalence-based cost-of-illness approach. The study considers more cost categories than are typically investigated and includes the costs associated with a multitude of LBP sufferers who are not under medical care. The findings are based on a questionnaire completed by a sample of 2,507 German-speaking respondents, of whom 1,253 suffered from LBP in the last 4 weeks; 346 of them were receiving medical treatment for their LBP. Direct costs of LBP were estimated at <euro>2.6 billion and direct medical costs at 6.1% of the total healthcare expenditure in Switzerland. Productivity losses were estimated at <euro>4.1 billion with the human capital approach and <euro>2.2 billion with the friction cost approach. Presenteeism was the single most prominent cost category. The total economic burden of LBP to Swiss society was between 1.6 and 2.3% of GDP.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center