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Rivista di Angiologia

Official Journal of the International Union of Angiology, the International Union of Phlebology and the Central European Vascular Forum
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International Angiology 1998 September;17(3):161-7


lingua: Inglese

Socio-eco­nom­ic ­impact of chron­ic ­venous insuf­fi­cien­cy. An under­es­ti­mat­ed pub­lic ­health prob­lem

Van Den Oever R., Hepp B., Debbaut B., Simon I.

From the National Alliance of Christian Health Insurance Funds, Medical Direction - Brussels, Belgium


Background. Disease of the ­venous ­system is an under­es­ti­mat­ed pub­lic ­health prob­lem affect­ing all West­ern indus­tri­al­ised coun­tries. The prev­a­lence of ­venous dis­ease of the lower limb in the adult pop­u­la­tion is esti­mat­ed at 40-50% for men and 50-55% for women, where­as vis­ible var­i­cose veins and chron­ic ­venous insuf­fi­cien­cy are, respec­tive­ly, ­present in 10-15% and 2-7% of the male pop­u­la­tion and 20-25% and 3-7% of the ­female pop­u­la­tion. In France the costs of ­venous dis­ease rep­re­sent­ed 2.6% of the total ­health care bud­get in 1995, thus con­firm­ing other data from European stud­ies and an early ­health sur­vey in the USA. To eval­u­ate the socio-eco­nom­ic ­impact of chron­ic ­venous insuf­fi­cien­cy by meas­ur­ing the ­health care cost.
Methods. Detailed infor­ma­tion on diag­nos­tic and ther­a­peu­tic pro­ce­dures for ­venous dis­ease was ­obtained from the bill­ing data of the com­pul­so­ry ­health insu­rance ­system in Belgium. Total ambu­la­to­ry and intra­mu­ral treat­ment costs are cal­cu­lat­ed for var­i­cose veins of the lower limb and for hae­mor­rhoids dur­ing the 1988-1995 peri­od.
Results. Medical care costs for chron­ic ­venous dis­ease ­amount to 10 bil­lion BEF, which is 2-2.5% of the 1995 total ­health care bud­get. Annual spend­ing on ven­o­trop­ic drugs with 11.5 mean daily doses per 1,000 inhab­i­tants amount­ed to one bil­lion BEF in 1995 for ambu­la­to­ry treat­ment only.
Conclusions. In view of the major med­i­cal, ­social and eco­nom­i­cal con­se­quenc­es of ­venous pathol­o­gy, ­research and pre­ven­tion ­efforts are ­required in this area as part of a well-tar­get­ed and effec­tive ­health pol­i­cy.

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