American investigators examined the impact of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) on resource utilization in the United States.
They used national databases to obtain the information.
It was found that approximately 1.5-2.7 million physician visits (599-1043 per 100,000) yearly were related to IBS. Gastroenterologists saw 45.3% of the patients.
Rates of physician visits by women were approximately 2.4-3.3 times higher than that for men.
| Hospitalization rate decreased by 60% in a decade.
| Digestive Diseases and Sciences |
The researchers found that the average number of medications prescribed per visit was 1.83. Furthermore, approximately 89% of the visits were prescribed with medications.
The rate of hospitalization (5.1 per 100,000 in 1997) decreased by 60%. The length of stay also decreased from 5.5 to 3.1 days in the past decade.
It was discovered that the average charges of IBS-related hospitalization were US$7882.
Ya-Chen Tina Shih, of MEDTAP International Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, said on behalf of fellow authors, "Our study found an apparent decreasing trend of IBS-related hospitalizations and no marked increase in office consultations in the past decade.
"However, a better case identification criterion is necessary to estimate the true disease burden," it was concluded.