Health, social, and economic consequences of rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder: a controlled national study evaluating societal effects.


Frandsen R(1), Asah C(1), Ibsen R(2), Kjellberg J(3), Jennum PJ(1).
Author information:
(1)Danish Center for Sleep Medicine, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.
(2)itracks, Aarhus, Denmark.
(3)VIVE-The Danish Center for Social Sciences Research, Copenhagen, Denmark.


STUDY OBJECTIVES: Parkinson's disease (PD) causes significant socioeconomic burdens. One of the strongest predictors of PD is rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD; when there is no known other cause of RBD, referred to as idiopathic RBD [iRBD]), but there is no information about its factual welfare burden. We estimated the direct and indirect total costs of iRBD in a national sample of patients, based on a national register-based cohort study with matched controls. METHODS: Using records from the Danish National Patient Registry, patient's diagnosis with RBD from 2006 to 2016 were identified. We excluded patients with a prior diagnosis of narcolepsy, PD, and other neurodegenerative diseases. We identified and compared randomly chosen controls matched for age, gender, geographic area, and civil status. Direct costs included frequencies of primary and secondary sector contacts and procedures, and medication. Indirect costs included the effect on labor supply. Social-transfer payments were included to illustrate the effect on national accounts. RESULTS: A total of 246 iRBD patients and 982 matched controls were registered. iRBD patients had significantly higher rates of health-related contacts and of medication use, and higher socioeconomic costs than controls. The total additional direct net healthcare costs after the diagnosis (general practitioner services, hospital services, and medication) and indirect costs (loss of labor market income) was €13,088 for patients compared with controls. Patients already exhibited a negative social- and health-related status several years before the first diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: Diagnoses of iRBD have major socioeconomic consequences for patients, their partners, and society.