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Utilisation, continuity and costs of care for patients with COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an example of a disease where diagnosis and early intervention is important for both the individual's quality of life and societal costs. Prevalence of COPD is high, but at the same time COPD is both under diagnosed and less researched than many other public health problems.

Aim of the project

In this project, we identify individuals with COPD from routinely collected health care data in Stockholm County, and quantify their health care utilization, continuity and costs of care. The project is commissioned by Stockholm County Council and run in collaboration with a reference group of clinical experts in respiratory diseases. The project has two main aims: first, to examine the possibilities to identify individuals with COPD using administrative registry data; describe their characteristics and follow their health care utilisation. Second, to outline and discuss strategies for the health care purchasing organisation (the County Council) to steer towards better adherence to guidelines, fewer adverse events and lower costs for patients with COPD.

Results in brief

Our results show that it is difficult to identify individuals with COPD - partly due to under diagnosis, and partly to under reporting of diagnoses in registry data. We identify approximately 30 000 individuals with COPD in Stockholm County. These individuals have substantially higher utilisation of health care and higher health care costs compared to other individuals of the same age.

Continued work

We continue to investigate the relationship between continuity of care and different types of outcome, such as costs, inpatient stays and emergency department visits. We expect to publish these results as a scientific article in 2016.

Reports and publications


There is further material published in Swedish. Please visit our Swedish site.

Contact person


Sofia Sveréus

Enhet: MMC/Health Economics and Policy


Clas Rehnberg

Telefon: 08-524 863 29
Enhet: MMC/Health Economics and Policy