The Costly Burden of Endometriosis

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Endometriosis has a powerful cost in terms of quality of life. However, there are financial costs as well. Financial loss can come from direct healthcare costs as well as loss of productivity. The estimated annual cost between those two in 2009 was $69.4 billion (Della Corte et al., 2020).

Della Corte et al. (2020) notes that “in employed women with endometriosis, as a consequence of productivity loss of 6.3 h per week, the total loss per person is approximately $10,177.54 per year.” Chronic pain is a significant factor in the loss of productivity and Armour et al. (2019) concludes that “priority should be given to improving pain control in women with pelvic pain.” Similarly, Facchin et al. (2019) notes that those with greater severity of symptoms were less likely to be employed and state that “endometriosis symptoms may significantly affect women’s professional life, with important socioeconomic, legal, and political implications.” The loss of productivity doesn’t only affect the workplace. Soliman et al. (2017) found that there was loss of household productivity as well.

The loss of productivity can start with symptom onset, starting in adolescence. Missmer et al. (2021) state that “endometriosis (and its associated symptoms) has been shown to hamper educational attainment, hinder work productivity, alter career choices and success, impair social life and activities, affect family choices, induce strain in personal relationships, negatively influence mental and emotional health, and adversely affect [quality of life]. These multiple and pervasive effects are anticipated to materially alter the life-course trajectory of women with endometriosis.”

So how can we help this? Earlier diagnosis and successful treatment are key. Surrey et al. (2020) notes that “patients with endometriosis who had longer diagnostic delays had more pre-diagnosis endometriosis-related symptoms and higher pre-diagnosis healthcare utilization and costs compared with patients who were diagnosed earlier after symptom onset, providing evidence in support of earlier diagnosis.” On the same note, Missmer et al. (2021) state that “unfortunately, current practice models too often result in a prolonged delay between symptom onset, diagnosis, and treatment of endometriosis, thereby increasing the impact on the life course.” This is why we advocate and share evidence-based information- so that the next person doesn’t have their life so significantly altered by endometriosis.

References

Armour, M., Lawson, K., Wood, A., Smith, C. A., & Abbott, J. (2019). The cost of illness and economic burden of endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain in Australia: A national online survey. PloS one14(10), e0223316. Retrieved from https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0223316

Della Corte, L., Di Filippo, C., Gabrielli, O., Reppuccia, S., La Rosa, V. L., Ragusa, R., … & Giampaolino, P. (2020). The burden of endometriosis on women’s lifespan: a narrative overview on quality of life and psychosocial wellbeing. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health17(13), 4683. Retrieved from https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/17/13/4683/htm

Facchin, F., Buggio, L., Ottolini, F., Barbara, G., Saita, E., & Vercellini, P. (2019). Preliminary insights on the relation between endometriosis, pelvic pain, and employment. Gynecologic and obstetric investigation84(2), 190-195. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1159/000494254

Missmer, S. A., Tu, F. F., Agarwal, S. K., Chapron, C., Soliman, A. M., Chiuve, S., … & As-Sanie, S. (2021). Impact of Endometriosis on Life-Course Potential: A Narrative Review. International Journal of General Medicine14, 9. doi: 10.2147/IJGM.S261139

Soliman, A. M., Coyne, K. S., Gries, K. S., Castelli-Haley, J., Snabes, M. C., & Surrey, E. S. (2017). The effect of endometriosis symptoms on absenteeism and presenteeism in the workplace and at home. Journal of managed care & specialty pharmacy23(7), 745-754. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.18553/jmcp.2017.23.7.745

Surrey, E., Soliman, A. M., Trenz, H., Blauer-Peterson, C., & Sluis, A. (2020). Impact of endometriosis diagnostic delays on healthcare resource utilization and costs. Advances in therapy37(3), 1087-1099. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12325-019-01215-x