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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000008
Original Articles

Economic Burden of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Flares and Comorbidities in a Commercially Insured Population in the United States

Narayanan, Siva PhD; Wilson, Kathleen MPH; Ogelsby, Alan MPH; Juneau, Paul MS; Durden, Emily PhD

Continued Medical Education
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Objective: To estimate the medical and productivity-related cost burden of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) flares and comorbidities in a commercially insured population.

Methods: Using administrative data, annual medical costs and indirect costs because of work loss were calculated for adult SLE patients, including flare severity and SLE-related comorbidity subsets, and a matched control group without SLE.

Results: Adjusted annualized medical costs were $18,952, $4305, $914, and $441 greater for SLE patients with severe, moderate, mild, and no flares, respectively, during follow-up than those of the matched controls. Medical costs also varied by SLE-related comorbidity. Adjusted annualized indirect costs of work loss because of absence and short-term disability were $1867 and $1602 greater, respectively, for SLE patients than for controls.

Conclusions: SLE imposes a substantial cost burden to both patients and their employers.

Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine


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