Obermeier, V., Murawski, M., Heinen, F., Landgraf, M. N., Straube, A., von Kries, R., Ruscheweyh, R.

Total health insurance costs in children with a migraine diagnosis compared to a control group

2021

Journal of Headache and Pain, 22(1), 140. https://doi.org/10.1186/s10194-021-01349-w

Zum Volltext auf der Webseite der Zeitschrift (Open access):
https://thejournalofheadacheandpain.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s10194-021-01349-w

Background
Health care costs of migraine constitute a major issue in health economics. Several publications analyzed health care costs for adult migraine patients, based on questionnaires or secondary (health insurance) data. Although migraine often starts already in primary school age, data on migraine related costs in children is scarce. In this paper we aimed to assess the migraine-related health care costs in 6 to 11 year old children in Germany.

Methods
Using claims data of a large German health insurer (BARMER), overall annual health care costs of 6 to 11 year old children with a diagnosis of migraine in 2017 (n = 2597) were compared to a control group of 6 to 11 year old children without a headache diagnosis between 2013 and 2017 (n = 306,926). The association of migraine and costs was modeled by generalized linear regression (Gamma regression) with adjustment for sex, age and comorbidities.

Results
Children with migraine caused considerably higher annual per capita health care costs than children without a headache diagnosis (migraine group: € 1018, control group: € 618). Excess costs directly related to migraine amounted to € 115. The remaining excess costs were related to comorbidities, which were more frequent in the migraine group. Mental and behavioural disorders constituted the most expensive comorbidity, accounting for € 105 of the € 400 annual excess costs in the migraine group.

Conclusion
6 to 11 year old children with a migraine diagnosis cause significant direct and comorbidity related excess costs in the German health care system.

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