OBJECTIVE: To provide an overall estimate of the direct, indirect and total costs of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for the adult population of the European countries with universal healthcare coverage.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We searched MedLine and Scopus databases (up to September 2018) to identify the European studies that evaluated the economic impact of IBS. Mean annual direct, indirect and total per-capita IBS costs were estimated using random-effect single-group meta-analyses of continuous data. All analyses were stratified by payer category (governments, insurance, societal), and the results were expressed as summary mean and 95% CI.
RESULTS: A total of 24 studies were included in the meta-analyses. Only two studies evaluated IBS costs in Italy. The pooled summary of direct IBS per-capita cost, obtained from 23 European datasets (n=15,157), was €1837/year (95% CI: 1480-2195), with large differences across payers (from €1183 to €3358, in countries with publicly-funded and insurance-based health systems, respectively). The mean indirect cost, extracted from 13 datasets (n=3978), was €2314/year (95% CI: 1811-2817), again with wide differences across payers. Finally, the meta-analysis estimating the total annual cost, based upon 11 European datasets (n=2757), yielded a summary estimate of €2889/year (95% CI: 2318-3460) per patient, ranging from €1602 (insurance-based health systems) to €3909 (studies adopting a societal perspective).
CONCLUSIONS: Considering a conservative estimate of 2,736,700 Italian adults affected by the syndrome, the minimum costs due to IBS in Italy – likely underestimated – range from 6 to 8 billion euro per year. Given the substantial economic burden for patients, healthcare systems and society, IBS should be included among the priorities of the public health agenda.
To cite this article
M.E. Flacco, L. Manzoli, R. De Giorgio, A. Gasbarrini, A. Cicchetti, F. Bravi, M. Altini, G.P. Caio, F. Ursini
Costs of irritable bowel syndrome in European countries with universal healthcare coverage: a meta-analysis
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 23 - N. 7