Direct and indirect medical costs of functional constipation: A population-based study
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Background Constipation causes a large number of medical visits each year and imposes significant financial toll on healthcare systems worldwide. So the present communitybased study was conducted in order to estimate attributable direct and indirect costs to functional constipation (FC) and to provide an overview of related physician visits in general population of Iran. Methods From May 2006 to December 2007, a total of 19,200 adult persons (aged 16 and above) were drawn randomly in Tehran province, Iran (response rate 94%). Participants who reported any gastrointestinal symptoms (2,790 persons) were referred to assigned physicians to be questioned about symptoms of functional bowel disorders according to the Rome III criteria. Direct and indirect costs to FC were calculated. Attributable costs were reported as purchasing power parity dollars (PPP$). Results Of the total 18,180 consenting participants in this study, 435 (2.4%) had FC according to Rome III criteria. Mean total cost of constipation per personwas 146.84 PPP$, of which 128.68 PPP$ was related to direct costs and 18.16 PPP$ to indirect costs. Higher educated persons (189.75 PPP$), those above 64 years of age (373.42 PPP$), subjects with BMI of less than 18.5 kg/m2 (510.84 PPP$), and widowed persons (258.50 PPP$) had the highest costs. Conclusions This study determined that although the economic burden of FC does not seem to be substantial in comparison to other major health problems, it still exacts a substantial toll on the health system for two reasons: chronicity and ambiguity of symptoms. é Springer-Verlag 2010.
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