Projecting productivity losses due to premature mortality from cancer 2010 - 2030

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Publication date: 
September, 2014
Presentation type: 
Oral presentation
Related staff: 
Dr Alison Pearce (former staff)
Prof Linda Sharp (former staff)

Background: Over 40% of those diagnosed with cancer in Ireland are of working age and these numbers are likely to grow. Productivity losses due to cancer represent a major burden to cancer survivors, their families, their employers and society.

Aim: The aim of this research is to estimate national productivity losses associated with premature mortality from all invasive cancers in 2010, and project these until 2030. The secondary objective is to explore the impact of different assumptions within the model on the estimates of productivity loss associated with premature mortality from cancer.

Methods: Based on the Human Capital Approach, an incidence-based method will be used to estimate the costs of cancer deaths that occurred and are predicted to occur between 2010 and 2030. The projected years of productive life lost will be multiplied by age and gender specific annual gross earnings to generate monetary estimates, with annual gross earnings adjusted for discounting, wage growth, workforce participation rates and unemployment rates.

Sensitivity analysis will investigate the impact of assumptions such as the rate of employment in older age groups, the inclusion of household productivity, reductions in mortality in the future and the discount rate.

Results: The analysis is currently underway. Early results suggest that in 2010 the annual productivity cost from cancer mortality in the base model was over €500 million. Results will be presented for the remainder of the analysis, including the projection of these costs to 2030, and the results of sensitivity analysis examining the impact of assumptions around working age, household productivity and improvements in cancer mortality.

Conclusions: The costs to society of lost productivity due to cancer related premature mortality are significant. By producing estimates which project losses into the future, policy makers can plan to meet future needs.

Published abstract: 
Pearce AM, Bradley C, Hanly P, O'Neill C, Sharp L on behalf of the ICE study investigators
Alison Pearce
Conference/meeting title: 
Irish Society of New Economists
Event date: 
4 Sep 2014 to 5 Sep 2014
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