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Many women who suffer from moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms (VMS) appear to go untreated, potentially leading to work loss, according to a new study in Menopause.
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine looked at health insurance claims from 1999 to 2011, matching up (1:1) women with untreated VMS with control women using propensity score. Work productivity loss, including disability and medically related absenteeism, were compared between cohorts, along with healthcare resource utilization and associated costs.
During the course of 12 months of follow-up, the 252,273 women (mean age 56 years) with untreated VMS used significantly more healthcare resources than those in the control group: 121% higher for VMS-related outpatient visits (95% confidence interval [CI], 118 – 125, P<0.001) and 82% higher for all-cause outpatient visits (95% CI, 81-83, P<0.001). Average direct costs per patient per year were also significantly higher for women with VMS (direct cost difference, $1346; 95% CI, 1249-1449; P<0.001).
When compared to the control cohort, patients with VMS had 57% more indirect work productivity loss days (95% CI, 51-63; P<0.001). This corresponded to an incremental indirect cost per patient per year associated with untreated VMS of $770 (95% CI, 726-816; P<0.001).
Investigators concluded that lack of treatment of VMS symptoms was positively associated with significantly greater frequency of healthcare utilization, specifically outpatient visits. Untreated VMS was also significantly linked to higher incremental direct and indirect costs to the patient.
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