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IHE Report
/Costs and disease burden
Frisell O, Löfvendahl S, Wahlberg K

Samhällskostnader för ADHD – Värdet av tidiga och samordnade insatser

The report is written in Swedish with a summary in English

ADHD is a condition characterized by overactivity-impulsivity and/or inattention. People with ADHD generally have more difficulty managing everyday life, school and work compared with the general population. This is manifested, among other things, by a lower expected level of income, less likelihood to succeed with higher studies and a greater risk of being involved in accidents. In cases where there are additional risk factors in the person’s living environment, such as an insecure childhood and exclusion, there is also an increased risk of ending up in crime and addiction. This entails major challenges and costs, both for the individual and his/her relatives, as well as for society at large. Better care for people with ADHD could give these individuals better conditions in life.

The report estimated the societal costs of ADHD in Sweden and the potential savings that better care for people with ADHD could generate. Initially, through a literature review and an interview study, the following measures were identified as central for improving the care of people with ADHD in Sweden: earlier assessment and diagnosis and thus earlier treatment, better coordination of efforts from different actors such as healthcare, school and social services, as well as earlier support at school regardless of ADHD diagnosis.

Using a health economic model, the lifetime costs for a person with ADHD in Sweden were estimated at SEK 7.7 million. Furthermore, it was estimated that better care for people with ADHD could save society up to SEK 3.7 million per person over a lifetime, which corresponds to around SEK 13 billion per cohort with ADHD (based on the assumption that 3,600 people are born in Sweden with ADHD each year). The savings consisted mainly of reduced production losses as a result of better conditions for people with ADHD and their relatives in the working life.

The results varied widely depending on the assumptions made in terms of the degree of improvement and the effect of the improvements. Since the calculations did not take all additional costs associated with the improvement measures into account, the estimated savings should primarily be interpreted as investment space for further improvements in the care of people with ADHD in Sweden.

IHE RAPPORT 2024:8, IHE: Lund