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Work losses related to inflammatory bowel disease in the United States

Using directly observed data, researchers from Canada, predict the overall paid-employment burden of inflammatory bowel disease in the United States.

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Studies using have reported different estimates for the indirect costs of individuals with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

In this study, researchers used the 1999 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to estimate the effect of IBD on work in the United States, and the associated cost to society.

The research team's findings are published in the May issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

The team used a weighted logistic regression model to estimate the odds ratio of being out of the labor force as determined by predictive variables. Variables included having been diagnosed with IBD, with or without symptoms.

32% of IBD patients who had symptoms in the past 12 months were out of the labor force.
American Journal of Gastroenterology

Controls included health status indicators and demographic variables.

For people in the labor force, the researchers performed an analysis to determine the influence of the variables on working less than 12 months, compared to the entire year.

The research team found that 32% of IBD patients who had experienced symptoms in the past 12 months reported being out of the labor force.

The team estimated that the nonparticipation rate, which could be attributed to IBD with symptoms in the past 12 months, was 12%.

Therefore, the researchers calculated that the indirect cost of nonparticipation attributable to IBD in 1998/1999 was more than $3.6 billion US dollars (USD). This was an individual cost of $5228 USD per person with IBD and symptoms.

However, the team's second analysis found that, for those individuals in the labor force, having IBD had no association with work duration.

Dr Teresa Longobardi's team concluded, "By using directly observed data in our analysis, this method of estimation can be used to predict the overall paid-employment burden of IBD".

Am J Gastroenterol 2003; 98(5): 1064-72
19 June 2003

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