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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    What Does it Cost to Have Celiac Disease?

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Caption: New study shows extra expenses that come with having celiac disease. Photo: CC--Wendy

    Celiac.com 08/29/2016 - What does it cost to have celiac disease? A team of researchers recently set out to make a close analysis of direct costs.

    The researchers included Stefano Guandalini, Namita Tundia, Roopal Thakkar, Dendy Macaulay, Kirk Essenmacher, Mahesh Fuldeore. They are variously associated with the University of Chicago, AbbVie Inc., Analysis Group, and with Alvine Pharmaceuticals.


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    The research team measured the burden of total direct costs associated with celiac disease in patients with celiac disease versus patients without celiac disease using administrative claims data.

    They selected cases of celiac disease diagnoses at a randomly chosen index date from the OptumHealth Reporting and Insights database from 01/01/1998 through 03/31/2013. They continuously enrolled patients throughout baseline, from 1 year before index date, and study, 1 year after index date, periods. They categorized patients as full remission and partial remission and matched them 1 to 1 based on age, sex, region, index date, company, and employment status. They then calculated total all-cause and celiac disease-related costs.

    They matched a total of 12,187 patients with an equal number of controls. On average, total all-cause costs for celiac disease cases was $12,217 versus $4,935 in controls (P < 0.0001). Average total all-cause direct costs for the 10,181, or 83.5%, of full remission patients versus controls was $11,038 versus $4,962, while in the 2006, or 16.5 % of partial remission patients, average total all-cause direct costs were $18,206 compared to costs of $4,796 for control subjects.

    All-cause medical costs were $9,839 for all cases, $8,723 for full remission patients, and $15,499 for partial remission patients. These costs accounted for most all-cause total costs and included outpatient costs of $6,675; $6,456; and $7,785, respectively, along with hospitalizations costing $2,776; $1,963; and $6,906, respectively. Celiac disease-related medical costs were 13% and 27% of all-cause medical costs for all cases and partial remission cases, respectively.

    People with celiac disease, and partial remission of celiac disease, face expenses 2.5 and 3.8 times higher for total all-cause costs compared with matched controls, and they pay much higher total costs than people without celiac disease.

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    Good Article. It is very frustrating with just food alone, I spend two to four times what a non-celiac pays and usually it is not even very good. We have come a long way but there is still a long way to go.

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    Hopefully they will update this research. It seems to reflect delay in diagnosis and there's been some improvement in that respect.

    Some of us had decades of ill health prior to diagnosis and mirror the findings in this investigation.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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