Much has been written about the effects on quality of life of moderate to severe menopausal vasomotor symptoms (VMS), which can persist for many years (NEJM JW Womens Health Mar 10 2015; [e-pub] and JAMA Intern Med 2015 Feb 16; [e-pub]). In a retrospective cohort study, researchers addressed the financial cost of VMS. Using a health insurance claims database for 60 self-insured Fortune 500 companies in the U.S., investigators matched 252,273 women with untreated VMS in a 1:1 ratio to women without VMS (by age, region, payer type, employer industry, hysterectomy history, and menopause-related diagnoses). Work loss data were available for about half the companies.
In a 12-month period, the VMS cohort had significantly more all-cause and VMS-related direct expenditures (pharmacy and outpatient, emergency department, and other healthcare visits) and more medically related work absenteeism than their VMS-free counterparts. The all-cause healthcare resource utilization (direct) cost was US$1346 per patient per year (PPPY) higher for women with VMS, equaling a 1-year total of $339,559,458 for that group. The incremental work absenteeism (indirect) cost for the VMS group was $770 PPPY, or $27,668,410 for 1 year.
Editor Disclosures at Time of Publication