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Am J Manag Care. 2005 Apr;11(1 Suppl):S7-16.

Total costs of IBS: employer and managed care perspective.

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Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal motility disorder that typically affects persons of working age and is costly to employers. The financial burden attributable to the direct (use of healthcare resources) and indirect (missed days from work [absenteeism] and loss of productivity while at work [presenteeism]) costs of IBS is similar to that of other common long-term medical disorders, such as asthma, migraine, hypertension, and congestive heart failure. The symptoms of IBS are significantly bothersome and place a substantial burden on the personal and working lives of patients. As with other long-term medical conditions that have a significant impact on productivity, directed efforts by employers can address IBS in the workplace and thereby potentially decrease its impact. In this article, the symptoms of IBS and its impact on patients and on society as a whole are discussed; options are outlined by which employers can help reduce the total costs of IBS, including lost productivity (both absenteeism and presenteeism), in the workplace.

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