There are no cost studies of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that describe its impact on resource utilization or treatment costs over long periods of time.
In this study, investigators from Canada determined whether there are observable trends in health-care resource utilization by adults with IBD depending on disease duration.
The team assessed the data from the 1999 US National Health Interview Survey.
This data included 256 adult cases with IBD who indicated the number of years since the onset of disease.
The team grouped the cases according to the number of years since diagnosis: recent diagnosis (0 to 5 years with IBD), long-standing (6 to 15 years), and very long-standing (16 to 62 years).
|GP visits were more likely up until 15 years since diagnosis.|
The team also selected a group of non-IBD controls.
The investigators found that when IBD patients were compared with the general population, that they were more likely to visit a specialist and to use prescription medication regardless of disease duration.
In addition, GP visits were more likely up until 15 years since diagnosis.
The team established that home care was more likely in the IBD population with long-standing disease (OR = 3.21).
In comparison, an emergency room visit (OR = 2.41) and hospitalization (OR = 2.34) were more likely in the first 5 years since diagnosis.
Hospitalization and surgical intervention were also more likely in the first 5 years since diagnosis (OR = 2.14).
Dr Teresa Longobardi's team concluded, "Specialist physicians are visited by IBD patients, and prescription medications are provided to treat IBD patients throughout their lives".
"This is a statistically significant trend that is viewed from onset of the disease to up to 62 yr with IBD".
"Our results also suggest, at least tentatively, that patients within the first 5 yr after the onset of the disease have a stronger tendency than the general population to visit an emergency room, to be hospitalized, and to have been both hospitalized and to have had surgery".
"If these results were borne out by further studies, then this would indicate that we can measure the greatest proportion of treatment effects on these resources within a relatively short period".