Objective: To evaluate the burden of Crohn's disease in Spain.
Design: Observational, cross-sectional study of patients affected with Crohn's disease who were attended to in hospitals in Spain.
Methods: Three structured questionnaires were used: one completed by the gastroenterologists to obtain demographic, clinical and disease activity data; a phone interview to obtain epidemiological and drug utilisation data; and the Spanish version of the Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36).
Results: The annual cost per patient was estimated at Euro 6808-Euro 2104 from direct medical costs and Euro 4704 from indirect costs. Approximate effect sizes for health-related quality of life were as follows: 0.8 for general health, social function, role functioning--physical and vitality; 0.5 for role functioning--emotional, body pain and mental health; and 0.2 for physical function.
Conclusion: Crohn's disease causes a significant decrease in health-related quality of life for patients and a considerable economic cost to society, mainly due to hospitalisations and loss of productivity. This burden indicates the importance of health programmes and interventions in reducing the heavy impact of the disease on both patients and society.