reflux disease is the second most prevalent of all gastrointestinal
and liver conditions with 19 million cases per year, according
to researchers at the University of North Carolina.
gastroenteritis was number one with 135 million cases and
irritable bowel syndrome was third with 15 million cases per
the economic burden of the GI and liver diseases is considerable,
little information has been available on their prevalence,
death rate and cost.
data from publicly available and proprietary national databases,
researchers attempted to determine the prevalence and costs
for 17 GI and liver diseases. These costs were compared with
National Institutes of Health research expenses for selected
GI and liver diseases.
study published in the journal Gastroenterology, investigators
report that the disease with the highest annual direct costs
in the United States was GERD ($9.3 billion), followed by
gallbladder disease (($5.8 billion), colorectal cancer ($4.8
billion) and peptic ulcer disease ($3.1 billion).
and liver diseases exact heavy economic and social costs in
the United States," concluded the researchers. "Understanding
the prevalence and costs of these diseases is important to
help set priorities to reduce the burden of illness."
Medical Week staff,
week of May 19, 2002