Helmet wearing saves the cost of motorcycle head injuries: A case study from Karachi, Pakistan

Asrar Ali, Muhammad Ashar Malik, Uzma Rahim Khan, Umerdad Khudadad, Ahmed Raheem, Adnan A. Hyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To estimate the difference in healthcare cost of head injuries among motorcycle helmet users and non-users. Methods: Motorcycle crash victims with head injuries that were brought to a public, tertiary care emergency room in Karachi were studied through a descriptive cross-sectional design. A standard questionnaire was used to collect data on demographics, injury pattern, helmeting practice, length of hospital stay, out-of-pocket payments (OOPs), and healthcare service utilization at the facility to estimate total healthcare and other costs applying micro-costing methods during the hospitalization period. Results: A total of 323 motorcyclists involved in crash were brought to a public tertiary care ER, 112 patients had head injuries and were enrolled in the study. The helmeted motorcyclists had a significantly lower median total healthcare cost of PKR 10,796 ($69) [IQR 9851 ($63)–PKR 12,581 ($80)] compared to higher cost of PKR 12,113 ($77) [IQR 10,431 ($66)−50,545 ($322)] (p value = 0.046) in non-helmeted. Helmet users expended significantly less cost on laboratory tests, PKR 365 ($2) [IQR 365 ($2)–548 ($3)] compared to PKR 3650 ($23) [IQR 365 ($2)–5840 ($37)] (p value =0.027) among non-users. Furthermore, cost of radiological investigations was also low among helmeted patients compared to non-helmeted ones, median PKR 4096 ($26) [IQR 3166 ($20)–5678 ($36)] vs 4750 ($30) [3166 ($20)−11,358 ($72)] (p value =0.049). The out-of-pocket payments (OOPs) for healthcare services were lower among helmet users as compared to non-users, with cost of PKR 17,750 ($113) [IQR 16,650 ($106)–18,000 ($115)] vs PKR 19,800 ($126) [IQR 12,300 ($78)–30,900 ($197)] (p value =0.03), respectively. Conclusion: The result of this study demonstrates that helmet use among motorcyclists significantly reduced healthcare costs and healthcare resource utilizations during hospitalization for head injuries in Pakistan. Thus, it is important to implement strict helmet wearing laws to decrease head injuries and the cost burden on the healthcare facility and patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-581
Number of pages9
JournalClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Cost
  • Head injury
  • Helmet
  • LMIC
  • Motorcycle crash
  • Pakistan


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