How IBD Affects Us as a Society: A Look at the Numbers

Statistic of a Year Living with IBD. Amber J. Tresca

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has a significant impact on people on an individual basis, causing illness and disability which leads to a host of problems including unemployment, financial concerns, family complications, and lack of social interaction. It's difficult to put our hands around the scope of how IBD impacts our health, our personal financial situations, and our social status. There are, however, a significant amount of data that we can look at to get a picture of how IBD affects us as a society.

What is the impact that IBD has over the course of a year when we look at the numbers?

In a typical year:

  • About 1.6 million people in the United States are living with IBD
  • An estimated 70,000 new cases of IBD are diagnosed in the United States
  • About 5 percent of all IBD patients are under the age of 20
  • Between 8 percent to 16 percent of all IBD patients are people 60 years of age and older
  • Of people who have ulcerative colitis:
    • 48 percent are experiencing remission 
    • 30 percent are experiencing mild disease activity
    • 20 percent are experiencing moderate disease activity
    • 1 percent to 2 percent are experiencing severe disease activity
  • People with Crohn's disease:
    • Account for about 1.1 million visits to physicians, clinics, and emergency departments
    • Receive about 1.8 million prescriptions written for treatments
    • Account for about 187,000 hospitalizations
    • Account for between an estimated $8,265 and $18,963 per patient in insurance claims
  • People with ulcerative colitis:
    • Account for about 716,000 visits to physicians, clinics, and emergency departments
    • Receive about 2.1 million​ prescriptions written for treatments
    • Account for about 107,000 hospitalizations
    • Account for between an estimated $5,066 and $15,020 per patient in insurance claims
  • The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) estimates the annual cost of IBD to be between $11 and  $28 billion
  • An estimated 32 percent of IBD patients experiencing symptoms are not employed
  • With the effects of unemployment, the CCFA estimates the cost of IBD to be between $14.6 and $31.6 billion

Sources:

CDC/NCHS national hospital discharge survey: United States, 2010. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Crohn's And Colitis Foundation of America. "The Facts About Inflammatory Bowel Diseases." [PDF] Nov 2014. 30 Aug 2014.

Gibson TB, Ng E, Ozminkowski RJ, et al. "The direct and indirect cost burden of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis." Occup Environ Med. 2008;50:1261-1272. 30 Aug 2014.

Kappelman MD, Moore KR, Allen JK, Cook SF. "Recent trends in the prevalence of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in a commercially insured US population." Dig Dis Sci. 2013;58:519-525. 30 Aug 2014.

Kappelman MD, Rifas-Shiman SL, Porter CQ, et al. "Direct health care costs of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in US children and adults." Gastroenterology. 2008;135(6):1907-1913. 30 Aug 2014.

Langholz E, Munkholm P, Davidsen M, Binder V. "Course of ulcerative colitis: analysis of changes in disease activity over years." Gastro. 1994;107:3-11. 30 Aug 2014.

Loftus EV, Jr., Shivashankar R, Tremaine WJ, Harmsen WS, Zinsmeiseter AR. "Updated Incidence and Prevalence of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis in Olmsted County, Minnesota (1970-2011)." ACG 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting. October 2014. 30 Aug 2014.

Longobardi T, Jacobs P, Bernstein CN. "Work losses related to inflammatory bowel disease in the United States: Results from the National Health Interview Survey." Am J Gastro.2003:98,1064-1072. 30 Aug 2014.

Ruhl CE, Sayer B, Byrd-Holt DD, Brown DM. In: Everhart JE, editor. "The burden of digestive diseases in the United States." US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 2008; NIH Publication No. 09-6443;137-147. 30 Aug 2014.

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