Functional Dyspepsia Tied to Higher Costs for Employees

Workers with condition have higher medical costs, more days of absence, lower productivity
By Beth Gilbert
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with functional dyspepsia are absent from work more often and incur higher direct and indirect medical costs than employees without the condition, according to research published in the June issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

In a retrospective analysis, Richard A. Brook, of The JeSTARx Group in Newfoundland, N.J., and colleagues evaluated payroll data and adjudicated health insurance medical and prescription claims (from 2001 to 2004) from 1,669 employees with functional dyspepsia and 274,206 employees without the condition.

Compared to employees without functional dyspepsia, the researchers found that employees with the condition had higher average annual medical and prescription drug costs and associated costs related to sick leave and short- and long-term disability absences. Employees with functional dyspepsia had costs that were $5,138 higher and had greater costs associated with each place of service, as well as having an additional 0.83 absence days per year and producing 12 percent fewer units per hour, compared to those without the condition.

"We conclude from this large employee-based study that people with functional dyspepsia use more medical services and consistently experience higher direct and indirect costs than persons without functional dyspepsia," the authors conclude. "The data emphasize the need for effective management strategies that can reduce the burden of illness and economic losses incurred."

The study was funded by Conexus Health. Four authors disclosed receiving consulting fees from Conexus Health associated with the study.

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