Applied Health Economics and Health Policy

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 111–121 | Cite as

The Economic Burden of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Greece

  • Georgia KourlabaEmail author
  • Georgios Hillas
  • Theodoros Vassilakopoulos
  • Nikos Maniadakis
Original Research Article



Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of disability and death worldwide, imposing a substantial socioeconomic burden on societies and patients due to the long-term management required.


To assess the economic burden of COPD in Greece and its potential determinants.


A population-based, random-digit dialled, telephone nationwide survey was conducted to recruit patients with COPD in Greece (N = 351). A structured questionnaire was used to collect data. The total annual cost per patient from a societal perspective was calculated.


The mean (95% CI) annual total cost per patient for the management of COPD from a societal perspective was €2150 (€1879–€2443). The total annual cost was mainly driven by the medication cost (36.1%), followed by the cost of hospitalizations (26.7%) and long-term oxygen therapy (13.8%). Multiple generalized linear model revealed that age, COPD Assessment Test (CAT) score and exacerbations were independently associated with the total annual cost.


Investment in interventions aiming at delaying progression of disease, preventing acute exacerbations, and managing chronic symptoms are required to reduce the overall economic burden of COPD in Greece.


Author Contributions

GK designed the study, conducted the analyses, interpreted the results, and wrote the manuscript. NM, GH, and TV contributed to questionnaire development, results interpretation, and manuscript writing.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Data availability statement

The dataset along with the software code will be provided upon request.

Conflict of interest

The authors Georgia Kourlaba, Georgios Hillas, Theodoros Vassilakopoulos, and Nikos Maniadakis declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


This study was funded by the Hellenic Thoracic Society.

Ethical approval

According to the Greek legislation (Law 2328/1995, Presidential Decree 310/1996, Law 3603/2007, Law 2472/1997, Law 3471/2006) there is no need for ethical approval for telephone surveys such the one presented here (Association of Opinion Polls and Survey Organisations—

Informed consent

Verbal informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

40258_2018_431_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (705 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 705 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.EVROSTON LPAthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of Critical Care of Evangelismos HospitalMedical School of National and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece
  3. 3.Department οf Health Services Organization and ManagementNational School οf Public HealthAthensGreece

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