Incremental direct and indirect costs of untreated vasomotor symptoms

Menopause. 2015 Mar;22(3):260-6. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000320.


Objective: Most women with moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms (VMS) are untreated. This retrospective matched-cohort study aims to evaluate the healthcare resource utilization, work loss, and cost burden associated with untreated VMS.

Methods: Health insurance claims (1999-2011) were used to match (1:1) women with untreated VMS with control women using propensity score. Healthcare resource utilization, work productivity loss (disability + medically related absenteeism), and associated costs were compared between cohorts.

Results: During the 12-month follow-up, women with untreated VMS (n = 252,273; mean age, 56 y) had significantly higher healthcare resource utilization than women in the control cohort: 82% higher for all-cause outpatient visits (95% CI, 81-83; P < 0.001) and 121% higher (95% CI, 118-124; P < 0.001) for VMS-related outpatient visits. Mean direct costs per patient per year were significantly higher for VMS women (direct cost difference, US$1,346; 95% CI, 1,249-1,449; P < 0.001). VMS women had 57% (95% CI, 51-63; P < 0.001) more indirect work productivity loss days than controls, corresponding to an incremental indirect cost per patient per year associated with untreated VMS of US$770 (95% CI, 726-816; P < 0.001).

Conclusions: This study shows that untreated VMS are associated with significantly higher frequency of outpatient visits and incremental direct and indirect costs.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Costs and Cost Analysis / statistics & numerical data*
  • Direct Service Costs
  • Efficiency
  • Female
  • Health Expenditures
  • Hot Flashes / economics*
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Matched-Pair Analysis
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Propensity Score
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult