Authors: Grace ChenVasantha PedarlaKyle D NullSusan E CazzettaQasim Rana KhanDavid A Schwartz


Background: Perianal fistula (PAF), a complication of Crohn’s disease (CD), is associated with substantial economic costs and poor prognosis. We determined prevalence of PAF CD in the United States and compared costs and health care resource utilization (HRU) of PAF CD patients with matched non-PAF CD patients.

Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of claims data from the IBM MarketScan Commercial Database from October 1, 2015, to September 30, 2018. Eligible patients were aged 18 to 89 years with ≥2 CD diagnoses. Patients with PAF CD had ≥1 PAF diagnosis or procedure code and were matched with non-PAF CD patients. Cumulative prevalence of PAF CD in the US population was calculated across total patients in MarketScan. All-cause and gastrointestinal (GI)-related costs and HRU were compared between groups using a generalized linear model (GLM).

Results: Cumulative 3-year prevalence of PAF was 7.70% of patients with CD (N = 81,862) and 0.01% of the US population. Among PAF CD (n = 1218) and matched non-PAF CD (n = 4095) patients, most all-cause costs and HRU were GI-related. Mean total all-cause and GI-related health care costs per patient and per year for PAF CD were $85,233 and $71,612, respectively, vs $40,526 and $29,458 for non-PAF CD (P < .0001). Among PAF CD vs non-PAF CD patients, GLM-adjusted proportions of patients with GI-related inpatient, outpatient, or pharmacy visits, mean GI-related inpatient length of stay, and mean GI-related surgeries were higher (P < .0001 for all comparisons).

Conclusions: Costs and HRU are significantly higher for patients with PAF CD vs non-PAF CD patients, highlighting the economic burden of the disease.

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