The direct and indirect cost burden of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis

J Occup Environ Med. 2008 Nov;50(11):1261-72. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318181b8ca.


Objective: To estimate the direct medical and indirect (absenteeism and short-term disability) cost burden of Crohn's Disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC).

Methods: Data were obtained from 1999 to 2005 MarketScan databases. Twelve-month expenditures for patients with CD and UC were compared to expenditures among an equal number of propensity score matched comparison group patients. Regression analysis controlled for demographics and case-mix.

Results: Annual medical expenditures were significantly higher for commercially insured CD and UC patients compared to matched comparison group patients ($18,963 vs $5300 for CD patients, $15,020 vs $4982 for UC patients, respectively, all P < 0.001). Indirect costs were also high for employed patients with these conditions.

Conclusions: CD and UC are costly diseases with a significant cost burden related to health care utilization and productivity loss.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / economics*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / surgery
  • Comorbidity
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Crohn Disease / economics*
  • Crohn Disease / surgery
  • Databases, Factual
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures / economics
  • Disabled Persons
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Expenditures / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sick Leave / economics*
  • United States
  • Young Adult