The Economic Consequences of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Analysis Group/Economics, Boston, MA 02199, USA.
Archives of Internal Medicine (Impact Factor: 17.33). 04/2003; 163(8):929-35. DOI: 10.1001/archinte.163.8.929
Source: PubMed


The objective of this study was to measure the direct costs of treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and the indirect costs in the workplace. This was accomplished through retrospective analysis of administrative claims data from a national Fortune 100 manufacturer, which includes all medical, pharmaceutical, and disability claims for the company's employees, spouses/dependents, and retirees.
Patients with IBS were identified as individuals, aged 18 to 64 years, who received a primary code for IBS or a secondary code for IBS and a primary code for constipation or abdominal pain between January 1, 1996, and December 31, 1998. Of these patients with IBS, 93.7% were matched based on age, sex, employment status, and ZIP code to a control population of beneficiaries. Direct and indirect costs for patients with IBS were compared with those of matched controls.
The average total cost (direct plus indirect) per patient with IBS was 4527 dollars in 1998 compared with 3276 dollars for a control beneficiary (P<.001). The average physician visit costs were 524 dollars and 345 dollars for patients with IBS and controls, respectively (P<.001). The average outpatient care costs to the employer were 1258 dollars and 742 dollars for patients with IBS and controls, respectively (P<.001). Medically related work absenteeism cost the employer 901 dollars on average per employee treated for IBS compared with 528 dollars on average per employee without IBS (P<.001).
Irritable bowel syndrome is a significant financial burden on the employer that arises from an increase in direct and indirect costs compared with the control group.

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    • "Despite the noted limitations, we have confirmed an increased risk of FGDs following infection with unique bacterial enteropathogens. Recent reports on the significant costs and morbidity associated with the acute disease attributable to foodborne illness [44,45], and the significant costs and decrements in health-related quality of life associated with the long-term health outcomes reported here [11,12,15,16,46], highlight the need for continued efforts to improve primary prevention strategies and to better understand the etiology underlying the differential pathogen-specific risks. While additional study is needed, these results raise the specter of the potential burden associated with these infections, and highlight the need for primary prevention strategies and optimized food safety policies in the US and globally. "
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    Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology 05/2012; 18(3):173-81. DOI:10.4103/1319-3767.96450 · 1.12 Impact Factor
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    • "Conventional treatments for IBS are associated with risks including adverse events, worsening of symptoms, and financial costs [5]. The direct and indirect costs associated with IBS are potentially considerable [6]. Some patients are satisfied with current therapies, but many others are frustrated, feeling that advice lacks clarity, conflicts with other GPs' advice and may not work [7]. "
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