Cost of Illness in Adult Patients with Hypopituitarism
Leona Hakkaart-Van Roijen
Frans F.H. Rutten
Objective: To compare the healthcare costs of patients with hypopituitarism with those of individuals from the general population. Design: A retrospective study of costs over 1 year. Estimates of direct and indirect health-related costs were calculated for patients from the general population using existing databases, and for patients with hypopituitarism using records of all patients eligible to participate on 31 December 1989 who could be traced, were willing to participate and had not been treated for acromegaly or Cushing's disease. Setting: The catchment area of the Endocrine Unit, Sahlgrenska Hospital, Gothenburg. The study was conducted from the societal perspective. Reference data were collected from official regional and national registries. Patients: 199 patients with adult-onset hypopituitarism in whom replacement therapy was given to maintain the adrenal, thyroid and gonadal (but not the somatotropic) axes. Main outcome measures and results: Direct and indirect costs incurred by patients with hypopituitarism were higher than those incurred by individuals from the general population. The total direct costs per patient were Swedish Crowns (SEK)22 920 vs SEK12 080 (p < 0.003) in the general population, and the highest costs were related to inpatient care. Of the patients aged 16 to 64 years, 22% had drawn a disability pension versus the expected 11.3% (p < 0.003) in the general population, and the patients had a mean sick leave of 38.4 days vs 23.5 (p < 0.001). Total excess costs for all patients with hypopituitarism were SEK 35 768 per patient (p < 0.007). Conclusions: Patients with hypopituitarism incur more health-related costs than individuals from the general population. They also take more sick leave days and are more likely to claim a disability pension than members of the general population. Further cost analyses are needed to determine whether improvements in diagnostic and surgical procedures, and hormone replacement therapy, can reduce the healthcare costs of patients with hypopituitarism.
Cortisone, Cost of illness, Estradiol, Hypopituitarism, Pharmacoeconomics, Testosterone, Thyroxine
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