OBJECTIVES: There is limited information about the long-term consequences of childhood- and adolescent-onset narcolepsy on educational and social factors. Here, we estimate the long-term socioeconomic consequences and health care costs of narcolepsy.
METHODS: The prospective cohort study included Danish individuals with narcolepsy onset in childhood or adolescence, diagnosed between 1994 and 2015. Health care costs and socioeconomic data were obtained from nationwide administrative and health registers. One hundred seventy-one patients were compared with 680 controls (mean index age, 15.2 years; SD, 3.4 years) matched for age, gender, and other sociodemographic characteristics.
RESULTS: Comparing the narcolepsy patient and control groups at age 20 years we found: (1) no differences in parental educational level; (2) patients had a significantly lower educational level than controls; (3) patients had significantly lower grade-point averages; (4) patients had a lower employment rate and lower-income, even when transfer payments were considered; and (5) patients' initial health care costs were higher. Patients had a higher mortality rate than controls, although the difference was not statistically significant.
CONCLUSION: Narcolepsy is associated with a significant influence on educational level, grading, social outcome, and welfare consequences. The development of narcolepsy is independent of parental social level.