Healthcare utilization and comorbidity burden among children and young adults in the United States with systemic lupus erythematosus or inflammatory bowel disease

J Pediatr. 2012 Oct;161(4):662-670.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.03.045. Epub 2012 May 10.


Objective: We sought to assess the feasibility of using a health insurance claims database to estimate the prevalence and health care utilization and costs among children diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Study design: This was a retrospective analysis of the LifeLink insurance claims database for the years 2000-2006. Children (0-15 years) and young adults (16-25 years) with ≥ 2 diagnosis claims for SLE or IBD were selected as the 2 cohorts of interest. For each member of the SLE and IBD cohorts, 2 individuals were randomly selected for a matched comparison group. All the analyses were descriptive in nature, CI for differences between means and 2 proportions for measures including health care utilization, comorbidity burden were based on t tests and 2-group tests of proportions.

Results: We identified 278 patients with SLE (prevalence estimate: 7.9 per/100000 population) and 1174 patients with IBD (33.2 per/100000 population). The mean annual total medical costs was substantially higher for the SLE (difference: $22223; 95% CI: $14961-$29485) and IBD (difference: $16238; 95% CI: $14395-$18082) cohorts compared with those of the comparator cohort. We observed higher comorbidity burdens in the SLE and IBD cohorts than we saw in the comparator cohort.

Conclusions: Administrative claims data can be a useful tool for assessing the comparative prevalence and associated resource utilization of rare conditions such as SLE and IBD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • Cost of Illness
  • Databases, Factual
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / economics*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Insurance Claim Review
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / economics*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult