Mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome: a population-wide study on prevalence and health care use in Finland in 1998-2016

Jaana Keto, Sonja Hahtola, Miika Linna, Liisa Väkevä
2021 BMC Health Services Research  
Information about health care use and costs of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) patients is limited, particularly in a European setting. In this population-wide study we set out to investigate prevalence, and trends in health care use in two CTCL subtypes, mycosis fungoides (MF) and Sézary syndrome (SS) over a time period of 19 years in 1998-2016 by using a nation-wide patient register containing data on all diagnosed MF and SS cases in Finland. The prevalence of diagnosed MF and SS rose from
more » ... 04 to 5.38/100000, and from 0.16 to 0.36/100000 for MF and SS respectively during 1998-2016. We found a substantial decrease in inpatient treatment of MF/SS in the past two decades with a mean of 2 inpatient days/patient/year due to MF/SS in 2016, while the mean numbers of MF/SS related outpatient visits remained stable at 8 visits/year/patient. Most MF/SS-related outpatient visits occurred in the medical specialty of dermatology. In a ten-year follow-up after MF/SS diagnosis, the main causes for outpatient visits and inpatient stays were MF/SS itself, other cancers, and other skin conditions. Also cardiovascular disease and infections contributed to the number of inpatient days. Mean total hospital costs decreased from 11,600 eur/patient/year to 3600 eur/patient/year by year 4 of the follow-up, and remained at that level for the remainder of the 10-year follow-up. MF/SS accounted for approximately half of the hospital costs of these patients throughout the follow-up. The nearly 3-fold increase in prevalence of diagnosed MF/SS during 1998-2016 puts pressure on the health care system, as this is a high-cost patient group with a heavy burden of comorbidities. The challenge can be in part answered by shifting the treatment of MF/SS to a more outpatient-based practice, and by adapting new pharmacotherapy, as has been done in Finland.
doi:10.1186/s12913-021-06109-9 pmid:33618714 fatcat:o4543jca65c3znyilmgpy63dby