Objective: To estimate trends in the rates of diagnosis and treatment of ectopic pregnancy in the United States.
Methods: We analyzed data from a large administrative claims database of more than 200 U.S. commercial health plans, and estimated time trends in the rate and incidence of ectopic pregnancy among girls and women aged 15-44 years by 5-year age groups and by region from 2002 to 2007. We also estimated time trends in the proportion of cases that were treated surgically, either by laparoscopy or laparotomy, or medically with methotrexate.
Results: We identified 11,989 ectopic pregnancies during the period from 2002 to 2007. The overall rate of ectopic pregnancy among pregnant girls and women aged 15-44 years during the 6-year study period was 0.64%. We did not observe a trend in the rate of ectopic pregnancy by 5-year age group or by geographic region. The ectopic pregnancy rate increased with age; it was 0.3% among girls and women aged 15-19 years and 1.0% among women aged 35-44 years. Methotrexate treatment increased from 11.1% in 2002 to 35.1% in 2007 (P<.001); the methotrexate failure rate was 14.7% over the 6-year study period. Surgical management with laparotomy decreased over the study period from 40.0% to 33.1% (P<.001).
Conclusion: We did not find an increasing or decreasing trend in the rate of ectopic pregnancy among U.S. commercially insured women from 2002 to 2007. The use of administrative claims data are likely the most feasible method for estimating the rate and monitoring trends of ectopic pregnancy in the United States.