Long-term conditions pose a major challenge for the New Zealand health system. The prevalence of long-term conditions is high and rising, particularly for Māori and Pacific people who experience the onset of disease at a younger age and face a higher risk of complications and early death. Long-term conditions lead to significant social and economic impacts both for individuals and their whānau and for the health system and society in general.
This report provides a summary of the New Zealand and international evidence base on the health and societal costs of long-term conditions. It updates a 2009 report, incorporating more recent research in this space. The scope of the report was also increased to consider a larger number of long-term conditions and associated risk factors.
The report involved a systematic review of published literature on the cost of illness for a broad set of long-term conditions. It aims to bring together the latest evidence base in one report, to support improved access to and use of this information.
New Zealand cost-of-illness studies were identified for ten long-term conditions and three risk factors. Additional information was extracted from overseas studies where little or no cost evidence for New Zealand was identified. The review notes significant gaps in the New Zealand cost of illness literature as well as methodological variations which make comparability challenging.