Economic burden of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) to patients: comparative study, by D Araja, E Brenna, RM Hunter, D Pheby, U Berkis, A Lunga, M Murovska in Value in Health, Vol 22, Supp 3, Nov 2019, Page S909 [] ABSTRACT ONLY




Research is performed in framework of COST (European Cooperation inScience and Technology) Action 15111 EUROMENE (European Myalgic Encephalo-myelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Research Network) to investigate the opportunities for evaluation of economic impact of ME/CFS to patients.


To achieve the objectives of this research, a study based on patient-reported survey has been carried out in Latvia, Italy and the United Kingdom (UK). The survey included questions concerning the socio-economic consequences of the disease, particularly regarding the health care costs. For data processing and analysis, the methods of economic analysis and statistical analysis are embraced.


In Latvia the survey has been launched with coverage of 100 patients (with dominance income of €500 per household member monthly). The results show that 1% of respondents spend more than €100 as an out-pocket payment for medicines and health care services monthly, 1.8% spend €51-100 for medicines, health care services and food supplements monthly, 17.2% spend €21-50, and 80% of respondents spend until €20 monthly to reduce the ME/CFS consequences.

The study performed in Italy with 87 participants suffered by ME/CFS found that 23% were unemployed and 55% had an income less than €15.000 annually. Patients spend average €210 monthly on medication and therapy.

A study conducted in the UK covered 262 patients with ME/CFS and healthy controls. The analysis shows marked lower economic well-being of people with ME/CFS in comparison with healthy controls. Average adjusted income for participants with CFS/ME was £12.242, but for healthy controls -£23.126. Considering the prevalence of ME/CFS in the UK population, the total cost of illness was estimated at £1.713 million per year.


The patient-reported outcomes is a significant tool to collect the data for evaluation of socio-economic impact of ME/CFS, but for comparative studies the purchasing power parities should be taken into account.

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