The Economic and Health-related Impact of Crohn's Disease in the United States: Evidence from a Nationally Representative Survey

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2016 May;22(5):1032-41. doi: 10.1097/MIB.0000000000000742.


Background: Approximately 593,000 to 780,000 people in the United States (US) have been diagnosed with Crohn's disease (CD), and an additional 33,000 are diagnosed yearly. Our objective was to estimate CD's impact on medical costs, lost earnings, work and school absences, health status, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in the US and to compute current and forecasted national costs.

Methods: We used the nationally representative Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to match 539 respondents with CD to similar respondents without any inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We estimated annual costs, work and school absences, and self-assessed health status. HRQOL was assessed by the SF-12 Physical Component Summary and Mental Component Summary (PCS and MCS) scores. CD prevalence rates, population counts, and costs were used to forecast total national costs.

Results: CD is associated with higher medical costs ($13,446 versus $6029) and lost earnings ($1249 versus $644) and is responsible for $3.48 billion in total national costs (expected to increase to $3.72 billion in 2025). Respondents with CD were more likely to miss work (38% versus 33%) or school (64% versus 33%), less likely to report being in excellent or very good physical health (24% versus 63%), and experienced lower HRQOL measured by the Physical Component Summary (43.4 versus 48.5) and Mental Component Summary (48.6 versus 50.0) than those without IBD.

Conclusions: CD is responsible for increased medical care costs and lower earnings, health status, and HRQOL. These data can serve as benchmarks when examining future CD-related costs and HRQOL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Crohn Disease / economics*
  • Crohn Disease / epidemiology
  • Crohn Disease / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Care Costs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult