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COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY

Estimated economic costs of overactive bladder in the United States

Teh-Wei Hu, Todd H Wagner, Judith D Bentkover, Kristi LeBlanc, Amy Piancentini, Walter F Stewart, Ron Corey, Steve Z Zhou, Timothy L Hunt
Urology 2003, 61 (6): 1123-8
12809878

OBJECTIVES: To estimate the economic costs of overactive bladder (OAB), including community and nursing home residents, and to compare the costs in male versus female and older versus younger populations.

METHODS: The National Overactive Bladder Evaluation Program included a representative telephone survey of 5204 community-dwelling adults 18 years and older in the United States and a follow-up postal survey of all individuals with OAB identified and age and sex-matched controls. The postal survey asked respondents about bladder symptoms, self-care use, treatment use, work loss, and OAB-related health consequences. Survey data estimates were combined with year 2000 average cost data to calculate the cost of OAB in the community. Institutional costs were estimated from the costs of urinary incontinence in nursing homes, limited to only those with urge incontinence or mixed incontinence (urge and stress).

RESULTS: The estimated total economic cost of OAB was 12.02 billion dollars in 2000, with 9.17 and 2.85 billion dollars incurred in the community and institutions, respectively. Community female and male OAB costs totaled 7.37 and 1.79 billion dollars, respectively. The estimated total cost was sensitive to the estimated prevalence of OAB; therefore, we calculated the average cost per community-dwelling person with OAB, which was 267 dollars per year.

CONCLUSIONS: By quantifying the total economic costs of OAB, this study-the first obtained from national survey data-provides an important perspective of this condition in society. The conservative estimates of the total cost of OAB were comparable to those of osteoporosis and gynecologic and breast cancer. Although this provides information on the direct and indirect costs of OAB, quality-of-life issues must be taken into account to gain a better understanding of this condition.

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