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American Journal of Industrial Medicine. Vol. 56, Iss. 11, November 2013

The burden of mortality with costs in productivity loss from occupational cancer in Italy


Background The costs of productivity loss due to occupational cancer mortality are rarely investigated. An estimate of occupational cancer deaths in Italy in 2006 and an approximation of the resultant costs from medical and non-medical expenditures together with figures of remuneration lost are provided.

Methods Occupational cancer deaths, obtained from the application of the attributable fraction (AF) to mortality data (source: Italian National Institute of Statistics), were used to calculate the Potential Years of Life Lost (PYLLs), the Potential Years of Working Life Lost (PYWLLs) and the costs of the loss of productive life. The health care costs for any cancer was applied to the estimated number of occupational cancer cases to obtain the total cost.

Results Around 8,000–8,500 deaths/year from occupational cancer are estimated to occur in Italy, corresponding to 170,000 PYLLs and more than 16,000 PYWLLs, leading to around 360,000,000 euros in indirect economic loss. Health care costs of occupational cancer are estimated at 456,000,000 euros.

Conclusions Occupational cancer is of major concern in terms of mortality and economic productivity loss. Preventive efforts in evaluating ongoing risks and current exposures are strongly recommended to health policy-makers.


healthcare costs, indirect costs, occupational cancer, public health

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