Israeli Study Shows Celiac Disease Carries Higher Medical Costs
Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams
Celiac.com 01/09/2014 - Not much is known about costs associated with celiac disease. A team of Israeli researchers recently studied the costs in patients diagnosed with celiac disease. The research team included A.D. Heymann, M. Leshno, R. Endevelt, and R. Shamir of the Medical Division at Maccabi Healthcare Services in Tel Aviv, Israel.
They conducted a retrospective case control study covering the period 2003-2006 in a large Israeli Health Maintenance Organization with over two million members. Their study group included 1,754 patients with celiac disease and a control group of 15,040 non-celiac patients. They calculated costs individually for each member, and aggregated costs according to main cost-branches.
They conducted a linear step wise regression with costs as the dependent variable and age, gender and the presence of celiac disease as the independent variables. They then compared costs for patients with celiac disease with costs for patients suffering from other chronic diseases.
The team found that the total costs of celiac disease patients were significantly higher than those for the control group for hospital admission, medications, laboratory and imaging. The overall hospital admission rate of celiac patients was 7.98% as opposed to 7.1% for the control group (p = 0.06). However, compared with other chronic illnesses, the costs of patients with celiac disease were similar to those of patients with diabetes and hypertension.
This study does conclude that celiac disease patients do use more medical services than the general population, at rates likely higher than previously thought.
As always, Celiac.com welcomes your comments (see below).