Objective: To estimate costs of illness in a cross-sectional cohort of patients with gout attending an outpatient rheumatology clinic, and to evaluate which factors contribute to higher costs.
Methods: Altogether, 126 patients with gout were clinically assessed. They completed a series of questionnaires. Health resource use was collected using a self-report questionnaire that was cross-checked with the electronic patient file. Productivity loss was assessed by the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire, addressing absenteeism and presenteeism. Resource use and productivity loss were valued by real costs, and annual costs per patient were calculated. Factors contributing to incurring costs above the median were explored using logistic univariable and multivariable regression analysis.
Results: Mean (median) annual direct costs of gout were €5647 (€1148) per patient. Total costs increased to €6914 (€1279) or €10,894 (€1840) per patient per year when adding cost for absenteeism or both absenteeism and presenteeism, respectively. Factors independently associated with high direct and high indirect costs were a positive history of cardiovascular disease, functional limitations, and female sex. In addition, pain, gout concerns, and unmet gout treatment needs were associated with high direct costs.
Conclusion: The direct and indirect costs-of-illness of gout are primarily associated with cardiovascular disease, functional limitations, and female sex.
Keywords: ABSENTEEISM; COMORBIDITIES; COST OF ILLNESS; ECONOMIC EVALUATION; GOUT; PRESENTEEISM.