Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Meta-Analysis Reveals Global Economic Burden of COVID-19 on Health Systems and Societal Economics

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A recent meta-analysis has comprehensively examined the global economic burden caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, recognizing its significant threat to the economics of patients, health systems, and society at large. This assessment was based on a thorough search of the PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science databases to identify studies that examine the pandemic’s economic impact.

The identified studies were classified into two categories based on the cost-of-illness (COI) study approach: top-down and bottom-up studies. The results from top-down COI studies were presented by calculating the average costs as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) and health expenditures. On the other hand, the findings from bottom-up studies were analyzed through meta-analysis using the standardized mean difference.

The search strategy yielded 3271 records, out of which 27 studies met the inclusion criteria. These studies were conducted across various countries, including the USA, China, Spain, Brazil, South Korea, India, Italy, South Africa, the Philippines, Greece, Iran, Kenya, Nigeria, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Global Economic Burden

Study Uncovers Global Economic Burden of COVID-19: From Intensive Care to Global GDP Impact

The top-down studies showed that indirect costs represent 10.53% of GDP, while the total estimated cost accounts for 85.91% of healthcare expenditures and 9.13% of GDP. In contrast, the bottom-up studies revealed a wide range in the average direct medical costs, from US $1264 to US $79,315. It was demonstrated that the medical costs for COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) were approximately twice as high as those for patients in general wards, with a range from 0.05 to 3.48 times higher.

The meta-analysis conclusively indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed a significant global economic burden worldwide, with varying degrees of impact across countries. The economic consequences in the post-COVID-19 era for communities and families are vital, suggesting that policymakers and health administrators should prioritize economic programs and accord them heightened attention.


Original Article DOI: 10.1186/s13643-024-02476-6

Original title: The global economic burden of COVID-19 disease: a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis

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