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Concept: Consumer price index


Suicide is not only an individual phenomenon, but it is also influenced by social and environmental factors. With the high suicide rate and the abundance of social media data in South Korea, we have studied the potential of this new medium for predicting completed suicide at the population level. We tested two social media variables (suicide-related and dysphoria-related weblog entries) along with classical social, economic and meteorological variables as predictors of suicide over 3 years (2008 through 2010). Both social media variables were powerfully associated with suicide frequency. The suicide variable displayed high variability and was reactive to celebrity suicide events, while the dysphoria variable showed longer secular trends, with lower variability. We interpret these as reflections of social affect and social mood, respectively. In the final multivariate model, the two social media variables, especially the dysphoria variable, displaced two classical economic predictors - consumer price index and unemployment rate. The prediction model developed with the 2-year training data set (2008 through 2009) was validated in the data for 2010 and was robust in a sensitivity analysis controlling for celebrity suicide effects. These results indicate that social media data may be of value in national suicide forecasting and prevention.

Concepts: Prediction, Future, Sociology, Variable, Forecasting, Unemployment, Inflation, Consumer price index


Objective: To clarify the research status of economic burden of stomach cancer in China from 1996 to 2015. Methods: Based on three electronic literature databases (China Knowledge Resource Integrated Database, Wanfang Database and PubMed), a total of 2 873, 1 244 and 84 articles published during 1996 to 2015 were found, respectively, using keywords of"cancer",“neoplasms”,“malignant tumor”,“tumor”,“economic burden”,“health expenditure”,“cost”,“cost of illness”, and"China". According to the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 30 literatures were included in the final analysis. Then the basic information and study subjects, indicators and main results of economic burden were abstracted and analyzed. All the expenditure data were discounted to the values in 2013 by using China’s percapita consumer price index. Results: Totally, 30 articles were included, covering 14 provinces and of which 16 were published during 2011-2015. One article was based on population-level and the remaining studies were all based on individual-level. The number of individual-level articles that reported direct medical, non-medical and indirectly economic burden was 29, 1 and 2, respectively. The main indicators of direct medical expenditure were expenditure per patient (22), per clinical visit (9) and per diem (11), respectively. The median expenditure per patient was 7 387-28 743 RMB (CNY), with average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 1.7% (1996-2013). The median expenditure per clinical visit was 18 504-41 871 RMB (2003-2013), with AAGR of 5.5%. The median expenditure per diem was 313-1 445 RMB (1996-2012), with AAGR of 3.7%. Difference was found among provinces. Conclusions: The evidence for economic burden of stomach cancer was still limited over the past two decades and mainly focused on individual and regional levels. An increase and differences in provinces were observed in direct medical expenditure. Evaluation on direct non-medical and indirect medical expenditure needs to be addressed.

Concepts: Medicine, Metastasis, Literature, Mao Zedong, Economy of the People's Republic of China, Beijing, Consumer price index, Renminbi


Taxing tobacco is one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking prevalence, mitigate its devastating consequential health harms and progress towards a tobacco-free society. This study modelled the health and economic impacts of increasing the existing cigarette tobacco duty escalator (TDE) in the UK from the current 2% above consumer price inflation to 5%.

Concepts: Tobacco smoking, Cigarette, Nicotine, Cigar, Inflation, Consumer price index, Austrian School, Exchange rate


The costs of medicines pose a growing burden on healthcare systems worldwide. A comprehensive understanding of current procurement processes provides strong support for the development of effective policies. This study examined Brazilian Federal Government pharmaceutical procurement data provided by the Integrated System for the Administration of General Services (SIASG) database, from 2006 to 2013. Medicine purchases were aggregated by volume and expenditure for each year. Data on expenditure were adjusted for inflation using the Extended National Consumer Price Index (IPCA) for December 31, 2013. Lorenz distribution curves were used to study the cumulative proportion of purchased therapeutic classes. Expenditure variance analysis was performed to determine the impact of each factor, price and/or volume, on total expenditure variation. Annual expenditure on medicines increased 2.72 times, while the purchased volume of drugs increased 1.99 times. A limited number of therapeutic classes dominated expenditure each year. Drugs for infectious diseases drove the increase in expenditures from 2006 to 2009 but were replaced by antineoplastic and immunomodulating agents beginning in 2010. Immunosuppressants (L04), accounted for one third of purchases since 2010, showing the most substantial growth in expenditures during the period (250-fold increase). The overwhelming price-related increase in expenditures caused by these medicines is bound to have a relevant impact on the sustainability of the pharmaceutical supply system. We observed increasing trends in expenditures, especially in specific therapeutic classes. We propose the development and implementation of better medicine procurement systems, and strategies to allow for monitoring of product price, effectiveness, and safety. This must be done with ongoing assessment of pharmaceutical innovations, therapeutic value and budget impact.

Concepts: Medicine, Costs, Federal government of the United States, Cost, Price, Inflation, Consumer price index, Procurement


OBJECTIVE The natural history and management of myelomeningocele (MM) in children is fairly well understood. There is a deficiency of knowledge regarding the care of adults, however, even though there are now more adults than children living with MM. The purpose of this study was to characterize the hospital care of adults with MM and hydrocephalus on a nationwide population base. Adults with other forms of spina bifida (SB) were studied for contrast. METHODS The Nationwide Inpatient Sample for the years 2001, 2004, 2007, and 2010 was queried for admissions with diagnostic ICD-9-CM codes for MM with hydrocephalus and for other forms of SB. RESULTS There were 4657 admissions of patients with MM and 12,369 admissions of patients with SB in the sample. Nationwide rates of admission increased steadily for both MM and SB patients throughout the study period. Hospital charges increased faster than the health care component of the Consumer Price Index. Patients with MM were younger than patients with SB, but annual admissions of MM patients older than 40 years increased significantly during the study period. With respect to hospital death and discharge home, outcomes of surgery for hydrocephalus were superior at high-volume hospitals. Patients with MM and SB were admitted to the hospital more frequently than the general population for surgery to treat degenerative spine disease. CONCLUSIONS Patients with MM and SB continue to require neurosurgical attention in adulthood, and the demand for services for older patients with MM is increasing. Management of hydrocephalus at high-volume centers is advantageous for this population. Patients with MM or SB may experience high rates of degenerative spine disease.

Concepts: Hospital, Scoliosis, Degenerative disc disease, Neurosurgery, Hydrocephalus, Spina bifida, Fetal surgery, Consumer price index


Purpose The high cost of oncology drugs threatens the affordability of cancer care. Previous research identified drivers of price growth of targeted oral anticancer medications (TOAMs) in private insurance plans and projected the impact of closing the coverage gap in Medicare Part D in 2020. This study examined trends in TOAM prices and patient out-of-pocket (OOP) payments in Medicare Part D and estimated the actual effects on patient OOP payments of partial filling of the coverage gap by 2012. Methods Using SEER linked to Medicare Part D, 2007 to 2012, we identified patients who take TOAMs via National Drug Codes in Part D claims. We calculated total drug costs (prices) and OOP payments per patient per month and compared their rates of inflation with general health care prices. Results The study cohort included 42,111 patients who received TOAMs between 2007 and 2012. Although the general prescription drug consumer price index grew at 3% per year over 2007 to 2012, mean TOAM prices increased by nearly 12% per year, reaching $7,719 per patient per month in 2012. Prices increased over time for newly and previously launched TOAMs. Mean patient OOP payments dropped by 4% per year over the study period, with a 40% drop among patients with a high financial burden in 2011, when the coverage gap began to close. Conclusion Rising TOAM prices threaten the financial relief patients have begun to experience under closure of the coverage gap in Medicare Part D. Policymakers should explore methods of harnessing the surge of novel TOAMs to increase price competition for Medicare beneficiaries.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Medicare, Illness, Health insurance in the United States, Medicare Part D, Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act, Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, Consumer price index


This article presents long-term analyzed rainfall and temperature data obtained from the National Metrological Agency (NMA) of Ethiopia. Using tables and graphic trends of analysis, the article shows the low and declining level of average annual rainfall as well as the high inter-annual fluctuations for 18 weather stations located in different agro-climatic zones of the country. The high variation of annual maximum and minimum temperature has been similarly observed for decades in the stations. Ethiopia’s average annual temperature has risen between 1955 and 2015 by 1.65 °C. The country’s agricultural production depends heavily on local temperature and rainfall. The evidence is clear that a slight change in such climatic elements negatively affects the food security condition of both producers and consumers. Although data from the Central Statistical Agency (CSA) show that major cereal crop production has increased at the national level, partly due to the increasing application of fertilizers and modern seeds, Ethiopia’s food security condition is deteriorating due to global climatic events caused droughts and rain failure. The rate of food price inflation is thus often higher than the general consumer price inflation rate.

Concepts: Precipitation, Climate, Weather, Cereal, Food security, Inflation, Famine, Consumer price index


We provide the first empirical evidence that better economic performances by immigrants' countries of origin, as measured by lower consumer price index (CPI) or higher gross domestic product, improve immigrants' mental health. We use an econometrically-robust approach that exploits exogenous changes in macroeconomic conditions across immigrants' home countries over time and controls for immigrants' observable and unobservable characteristics. The CPI effect is statistically significant and sizeable. Furthermore, the CPI effect diminishes as the time since emigrating increases. By contrast, home countries' unemployment rates and exchange rate fluctuations have no impact on immigrants' mental health.

Concepts: Statistical significance, Economics, Macroeconomics, Unemployment, Inflation, Consumer price index, Price index, GDP deflator


Health care costs are an important consideration in the decision of hysterectomy routes and robotic surgery is often critiqued for its high cost. We sought to compare the cost of robotic-assisted hysterectomies performed after initial acquisition of the robotic surgical system to cases performed after 5 years of experience. The first 20 patients at a community teaching hospital who underwent robotic-assisted hysterectomy for endometrial cancer by a single gynecologic oncology surgeon were designated Group 1 and 20 patients undergoing robotic hysterectomies 5 years later for the same indication were designated Group 2. Direct hospital costs were divided into operative and non-operative costs. Mean operating room cost and cost of anesthesia per minute for Group 1 were adjusted to Group 2 mean costs. Supply costs were adjusted using the 2015 Consumer Price Index. Baseline characteristics of the groups were comparable. After 5 years of experience, there was a 15.5% [95% CI (-$2865, -$407), p = 0.01] reduction in mean total costs (Group 1 = $10,543, Group 2 = $8907) and a 14.3% [95% CI (-$2378, -$390), p ≤ 0.01] reduction in mean operative costs (Group 1 = $9688, Group 2 = $8304). Significant reductions in procedure time, operating room time, operating room cost, and cost of anesthesia were seen from Group 1 to Group 2. There were no differences in mean non-operative costs, estimated blood loss, cost of supplies or surgeon cost. Experience with robotic-assisted hysterectomies is associated with reduction in costs, which is primarily a result of reduced operative times. This is an important factor when considering costs related to robotic surgery.

Concepts: Hospital, Surgery, Menopause, Gynecology, Hysterectomy, Endometrial cancer, Gynaecology, Consumer price index


Objective: To explore existing evidence of economic burden of esophageal cancer in China over the past 20 years. Methods: Based on PubMed, CNKI and Wanfang, literatures published from 1996 to 2015 were retrieved with the key words such as “ economic burden” , “cost of illness” and so on. Then the information excerpted from those literatures were analyzed after several exclusionary procedures for non-esophageal cancer related literatures. The information about subjects and data source, methodology, main results were structurally abstracted and then analyzed. Quality assessments were conducted independently by two investigators using an 11-item instrument recommended by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) for cross-sectional studies. All the expenditure data were calculated according to year-specific personal health care consumer price index (CPI) of China, the annual growth rate was calculated according to the average speed of growth. Results: A total of 23 studies (21 individual surveys and 2 population-based surveys) were included in the analysis, in which 12 were published over the past 5 years. Among the 21 individual surveys, 17 were hospital-based and the data were obtained through medical record review, and most of which only considered the direct medical economic burden (including the average overall expenditure per patient, per time and per diem). The median expenditure per patient during 1996-2011 ranged from 7 463 to 37 647 yuan (RMB) and the average growth rate was 7.68%. The median medical expenditure per clinical visit during 1996-2013 ranged from 6 851 to 57 554 yuan (RMB) and the average growth rate was 11.89%. The median medical expenditure per diem during 1996-2010 ranged from 225 to 1 319 yuan (RMB) and the average growth rate was 12.53%. The direct medical expenditure per clinical visit varied greatly with area, which were much higher in Beijing, Shanxi and Hubei. In both individual survey and population-based survey, less data about the direct non-medical expenditure and the influence of indirect expenditure on the economic burden were reported. Conclusion: Less data are available on economic burden of esophageal cancer in China over the past 20 years and the data’s comparability are poor, especially in terms of population level or indirect burden. Direct medical expenditure is on the rise, and regional differences.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Obesity, Squamous cell carcinoma, Helicobacter pylori, Nitrosamine, Beijing, Consumer price index