Economic burden made celiac disease an expensive and challenging condition for Iranian patients
Aim: The aim of this study was to estimate the economic burden of celiac disease (CD) in Iran.
Background: The assessment of burden of CD has become an important primary or secondary outcome measure in clinical and epidemiologic studies.
Methods: Information regarding medical costs and gluten free diet (GFD) costs were gathered using questionnaire and checklists offered to the selected patients with CD. The data included the direct medical cost (including Doctor Visit, hospitalization, clinical test examinations, endoscopies, etc.), GFD cost and loss productivity cost (as the indirect cost) for CD patient were estimated. The factors used for cost estimation included frequency of health resource utilization and gluten free diet basket. Purchasing Power Parity Dollar (PPP$) was used in order to make inter-country comparisons.
Results: Total of 213 celiac patients entered to this study. The mean (standard deviation) of total cost per patient per year was 3377 (1853) PPP$. This total cost including direct medical cost, GFD costs and loss productivity cost per patients per year. Also the mean and standard deviation of medical cost and GFD cost were 195 (128) PPP$ and 932 (734) PPP$ respectively. The total costs of CD were significantly higher for male. Also GFD cost and total cost were higher for unmarried patients.
Conclusion: In conclusion, our estimation of CD economic burden is indicating that CD patients face substantial expense that might not be affordable for a good number of these patients. The estimated economic burden may put these patients at high risk for dietary neglect resulting in increasing the risk of long term complications.
Keywords: Celiac, Burden, Medical cost, Iran.