Press release: Incontinence costs European society over 40 million Euros per year
Brussels, 23 September 2023 – New international research on the economic burden of urinary incontinence reveals that the cost of continence care will cost over 40 billion Euros in 2023. These costs include the impact of incontinence on individuals’ health, the costs of medical consultations and products such as continence pads, incontinence-related absenteeism at work, nursing home admissions, and the environmental impact of incontinence care. If no action is taken to support continence health, incontinence will become a major health problem in Europe, worsened by an ageing society, resulting in a total accumulated economic burden of 320 billion Euros in 2030.
Around 55-60 million Europeans suffer from continence health problems. This often chronic condition not only affects the quality of life of patients and their loved ones, but also has a significant impact on national health systems, the economy, and the environment. Around 35% of the 40 billion Euros that incontinence cost this year was related to the productivity loss of patients, and another third was related to the use of continence pads. When looking at the costs of waste disposal, the cost of incinerating (burning the pads) was marginally lower than recycling. However, the carbon footprint of recycling is significantly lower.
Professor Philip Van Kerrebroeck, co-chairman of the Policy Office of the European Association of Urology says: “Continence problems are felt across gender, age, and socio-economic backgrounds, and can result in a serious negative impact on individuals’ quality of life. Physical, psychosocial and economic consequences for patients and their carers are a barrier to full participation in society. Optimal continence health should be a reality for everyone.”
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