Objectives: To assess the annual direct and indirect costs of skin diseases caused by ultraviolet radiation.
Methods: A model for cost-of-illness, including costs for hospital care, primary care, pharmaceuticals, mortality, and morbidity, for approximately 1.8 million inhabitants in Stockholm.
Results: The total annual discounted cost-of-illness in Stockholm was approximately 162 million SEK (MSEK; approximate 2002 exchange rate: 1 U.S. dollar=10 SEK). The indirect costs were predominant and constituted approximately 91 MSEK (56% of total costs), mainly due to an estimated cost of mortality for cutaneous malignant melanoma of 84 MSEK. The direct costs of these diseases, approximately 71 MSEK, were predominated by hospital ambulatory care costs of approximately 33 MSEK. The direct costs constituted approximately 0.4% of the overall health-care costs for hospital care and primary health care in the area.
Conclusions: Skin diseases caused by ultraviolet radiation result in moderate economic losses in the community. Therefore, it may not be easy to make successful prevention of these diseases economically beneficial.