Resource utilization associated with irritable bowel syndrome in the United States 1987-1997

Ya Chen Tina Shih, Victoria E. Barghout, Robert S. Sandler, Priti Jhingran, Medha Sasane, Suzanne Cook, David C. Gibbons, Michael Halpern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


This study uses national databases to examine the impact of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) on resource utilization in the United States. Approximately 1.5-2.7 million physician visits (599-1043 per 100,000) yearly were related to IBS, with 45.3% seen by gastroenterologists, and 89% prescribed medications. Rates of physician visits by women were approximately 2.4-3.3 times higher than that for men. The average number of medication prescribed per visit was 1.83. Approximately 89% of the visits were prescribed with medications. The rate of hospitalization (5.1 per 100,000 in 1997) decreased by 60% and length of stay decreased from 5.5 to 3.1 days in the past decade. The average charges of IBS-related hospitalization were US$7,882. Our study found an apparent decreasing trend of IBS-related hospitalizations and no marked increase in office consultations in the past decade. However, a better case identification criterion is necessary to estimate the true disease burden.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1705-1715
Number of pages11
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey
  • National Disease and Therapeutic Index
  • National Hospital Discharge Survey
  • National Inpatient Sample
  • Resource utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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