Potential Cost Savings for the Healthcare System by Physical Activity in Different Chronic Diseases: A Pilot Study in the Veneto Region of Italy. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 19(12), 7375.
Background: Sedentary behaviour (SB) and physical inactivity (PI) are associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases and a significant economic burden. This pilot study aims to estimate the possible cost savings for the Veneto Regional Health Service (Italy) due to a population-based physical activity (PA) intervention. Methods: The PA-related cost-savings were assessed for four chronic diseases in the whole and sedentary populations of the Veneto region. The SB and PA epidemiological data, regarding an additional percutaneous coronary intervention in coronary artery disease, hospitalizations in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, surgery for colorectal cancer, and femur fracture, were obtained from national and regional administrative sources. A relative risk reduction, due to PA, was obtained from the recent literature. The annual healthcare costs were estimated using the regional diagnosis-related group tariffs. Results: The annual estimated cost-savings for the regional healthcare service related to these four outcomes: an amount between EUR 5,310,179 (if a conservative analysis was performed) and EUR 17,411,317. Conclusion: By a downward estimate, regarding the direct healthcare costs, PA interventions could lead to important cost-savings in the Veneto region. The savings would be greater when considering the cross-sectional impact on other healthcare costs, comorbidities, and indirect costs.