Endometriosis Costs the Economy Almost $15,000 a Year per Patient

Endometriosis Costs the Economy Almost $15,000 a Year per Patient

Women with endometriosis incur significantly higher healthcare costs compared to other patients.

Key Points


Endometriosis patients incur significantly higher healthcare costs than non-endometriosis patients


Estimating the cost of endometriosis to the healthcare system and to society is of great importance so adequate planning can be put in place to ensure these patients receive the treatment and care they need.

What's done here:

Researchers conducted a retrospective cohort study in 113,506 women with and 927,599 women without endometriosis. They compared the healthcare resource utilization, and annual direct and indirect healthcare costs between the two groups of women.

Key results

  • Women with endometriosis had significantly higher annual healthcare costs compared to non-endometriosis patients.
  • This was the case for both direct costs (inpatient admissions, pharmacy claims, and emergency room, physician office, and obstetrics/gynecology visits) and indirect costs (absenteeism from work, short-and long-term disability).
  • The largest proportion of annual healthcare costs were incurred within three months of an endometriosis diagnosis.
  • Older women had higher healthcare costs whether or not they had endometriosis but the difference between younger and older women was higher among women with endometriosis compared to those without.

Limitations of the study:

  • Because the data about expenses were obtained from a system designed for reimbursement,  no information is available about medical expenses not subject to insurance reimbursement, like over-the-counter medications. 
  • Due to the way the condition of the women was recorded, there is a possibility that women with endometriosis who have not yet been diagnosed, or whose diagnosis has not yet been recorded have been included in the control group.
  • The indirect costs only included absenteeism, and short and long-term disability and did not take into account reduced presenteeism or potential caregiver burden. Moreover, the drop in general productivity caused by the absence of a worker was not taken into account. 
  • The effect of endometriosis on the psychological well-being of the patients and the costs that may be associated with this were not taken into account. 
  • The findings of the study were limited to endometriosis patients covered by commercial health plans and may not be the same for patients covered by other healthcare plans or those who are not covered at all.

Lay Summary

Patients with endometriosis incur significantly higher healthcare costs compared to other patients, a found a study published in the scientific journal Advances in Therapy. Because over 10 million women in the U.S. and an estimated 200 million women worldwide have endometriosis, the disease constitutes a substantial burden on healthcare systems and society.

In order to measure the direct and indirect cost of endometriosis, researchers at AbbVie, Truven Health Analytics, and Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine conducted a retrospective cohort study. They analyzed 113,506 women ages, 18 to 49 with endometriosis and 927,599 women without endometriosis as a control. 

The researchers looked at the women’s utilization of healthcare resources, and annual direct and indirect healthcare costs. Direct medical costs included medical and pharmacy costs and indirect costs included absenteeism from work and short-term and long-term disability.

The results showed that women with endometriosis had significantly higher healthcare resource use compared to controls. For instance, around two-thirds of women with endometriosis underwent an endometriosis-related surgical procedure such as a laparotomy, laparoscopy, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, and other excision/ablation procedures within one year after being diagnosed with the condition.

The mean total healthcare cost per patients was calculated at $14,649 for women with endometriosis and $4,646 for women without, more than three times higher.

Older women with endometriosis, ages 40-49, had higher healthcare and pharmacy costs than younger patients, ages 18-29. This was also the case for patients without endometriosis but while the difference between age groups was only $1,471 for patients without endometriosis, for women with endometriosis this difference was more than twice as much with $3,171.

Research Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29450864

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EndoNews highlights the latest peer-reviewed scientific research and medical literature that focuses on endometriosis. We are unbiased in our summaries of recently-published endometriosis research. EndoNews does not provide medical advice or opinions on the best form of treatment. We highly stress the importance of not using EndoNews as a substitute for seeking an experienced physician.