Objective: To estimate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)-attributable medical resource utilization and health care costs among employed individuals and their covered dependents with COPD.
Method: Retrospective health care claims analysis. Employees and dependents 40 to 63 years old with a diagnosis of COPD between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2002 were matched to two separate control cohorts. Medical resource utilization and health care costs were compared between cohorts.
Results: A total of 6445 individuals with COPD were matched to each control cohort. Mean age was 55.1 years, and cohorts were approximately 50% men. COPD subjects had significantly higher utilization and adjusted pharmacy, medical, and total health care costs than both control cohorts (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: COPD subjects had significantly higher utilization and costs than individuals without COPD. Thus, the economic burden of COPD is present in younger, working individuals, as well as in the older, retired population.