Economic burden of IBS

Economic burden of IBS

Only approximately 25% to 50% of individuals with IBS symptoms ever seek health care.

Nevertheless, given the prevalence of symptoms, IBS has a significant economic burden. IBS is one of the top 10 reasons for consultation with a primary care physician, and the most common reason for consulting a gastroenterologist. Nearly one third of all consultations by gastroenterologists are for IBS symptoms. In the United States alone, there are more than 3.5 million physician visits and more than 2.2 million prescriptions written for IBS. In addition, patients with IBS undergo a multitude of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, which are often unnecessary and sometimes dangerous. The direct medical charges in the United States alone attributed to IBS have been estimated to be more than $10 billion per year (excluding prescription and over-the-counter drug costs). In addition, the indirect costs associated with IBS are estimated to be significantly higher than direct medical costs.

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