Osteoarthritis Proves Costly for Individuals and InsurersLast Updated: December 03, 2009. Osteoarthritis is responsible for a substantial burden in health care expenditures, particularly in women, according to research published in the December issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.
THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Osteoarthritis (OA) is responsible for a substantial burden in health care expenditures, particularly in women, according to research published in the December issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Harry Kotlarz, of De Puy Inc. in Warsaw, Ind., and colleagues analyzed pooled data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey for 1996 to 2005. Health care expenditures were expressed in 2007 dollars.
The researchers found that women and men with OA respectively had $1,379 and $694 increases in annual out-of-pocket expenditures. Having OA increased insurers' annual costs by $4,833 in women and $4,036 in men. OA was responsible for a $185.5 billion aggregate increase in medical expenditures per year, of which $149.4 billion was insurer expenses and $36.1 billion was out-of-pocket expenses. Women and men were responsible for $118 billion and $67.5 billion, respectively.
"The prevalence of OA has risen rapidly in recent years, a trend that is expected to continue. Unfortunately, OA often goes unnoticed until the disease has progressed," the authors write. "The findings of our study indicate that direct health care expenditures for OA are extremely large. Both payors and patients may benefit from earlier detection of this disease and increased efforts to delay or minimize the adverse and costly consequences of this illness."
A co-author reported stock ownership in Johnson & Johnson.
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