Open Access Research article

Cost of illness of the stomach cancer in Japan - a time trend and future projections

Kayoko Haga, Kunichika Matsumoto, Takefumi Kitazawa, Kanako Seto, Shigeru Fujita and Tomonori Hasegawa*

Author Affiliations

Department of Social Medicine, Toho University School of Medicine, 5-21-16 Omori-nishi, Ota-ku, Tokyo 143-8540, Japan

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BMC Health Services Research 2013, 13:283  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-283

Published: 23 July 2013



Stomach cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in Japan. The objectives of this study were to estimate and project the economic burden associated with stomach cancer in Japan, and to identify the key factors that drive the economic burden of stomach cancer.


We calculated Cost of illness (COI) of 1996, 2002, 2008, 2014 and 2020 by using government office statistics and the COI method. We calculated direct cost and indirect cost (morbidity cost and mortality cost), and estimated the COI by summing them up.


The number of deaths remained at approximately 50,000 in 1996–2008. COI was in downward trend from 1,293.5 billion yen in 1996 to 1,114.2 billion yen in 2008. Morbidity cost was 85.6 billion yen and 54.0 billion yen, mortality cost was 972.3 billion yen and 806.4 billion yen, and mortality cost per person was 19.4 million yen and 16.1 million yen in 1996 and 2008, respectively. Decrease of mortality cost that accounted for a large part of the COI (72.4% in 2008) was the major contributing factor. COI is predicted to decrease if the trend of health related indicators continues (442.8-1,056.1 billion yen depending on the model in 2020). Mortality cost per person is also predicted to decrease (9.5-12.5 million yen depending on the model in 2020).


If the trend of health related indicators continues, it is estimated that COI of stomach cancer would decrease. “Aging”, “change of the healthcare providing system” and “new medical technology” are considered as contributing factors of COI.

Cost of illness (COI); Stomach cancer; Health economics; Health policy; Aging