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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Jul;38(2):170-7. doi: 10.1111/apt.12355. Epub 2013 Jun 3.

Functional dyspepsia: the economic impact to patients.

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Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH 03756, USA.



Although highly prevalent, little is known about the economic impact of functional dyspepsia (FD).


To quantify FD patients' health care utilisation patterns and to estimate direct and indirect costs of FD to patients.


ICD-9 codes identified adult patients with dyspepsia. A validated questionnaire was mailed to patients who met Rome III criteria for FD.


Three hundred and fifty-five patients met all inclusion criteria. The response rate was 63%. The respondents' mean age was 50 (14) years; 75% were women; 52% of respondents rated their FD as moderate. Patients reported 3 visits (mean) to their PCP over 12 months; 75% reported having blood work, 92% an EGD, 59% an ultrasound and 40% a CT scan. The direct cost of testing using Medicare reimbursement rates per patient was $582. To treat FD symptoms, 89% tried dietary changes, 89% over-the-counter medications, 87% prescription medications and 25% alternative therapies. Mean patient expenditure over the last year was $246 for OTC medications (range $0-12,000), $290 for co-payments (range $0-9,000) and $110 for alternative treatments (range $0-3,741). Total mean direct cost yearly to patients was $699. In the 7 days prior to completing the questionnaire, respondents reported a mean of 1.4 h absence from work. Extrapolating the results to the US population, we conservatively calculate the costs of FD were $18.4 billion in 2009.


Functional dyspepsia patients incur significant direct and indirect costs and work productivity is impaired by dyspeptic symptoms.

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