Direct healthcare costs of Rome IV or Rome III-defined irritable bowel syndrome in the United Kingdom

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2022 May 1. doi: 10.1111/apt.16939. Online ahead of print.


Vivek C Goodoory 1 2Cho Ee Ng 3Christopher J Black 1 2Alexander C Ford 1 2


Author information

1Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St. James's, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.

2Leeds Gastroenterology Institute, St. James's University Hospital, Leeds, UK.

3County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, Durham, UK.


Background: Previous studies have demonstrated a substantial economic impact of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Aims: To provide contemporaneous estimates of direct healthcare costs of IBS in the United Kingdom.

Methods: We collected demographic, gastrointestinal and psychological symptoms, quality of life and healthcare usage data from adults with Rome IV or Rome III IBS in the United Kingdom. We calculated the mean annual direct healthcare costs of IBS per person and used contemporaneous IBS prevalence data, together with census data, to estimate annual direct costs of IBS. We also examined predictors of higher costs.

Results: The mean annual direct cost of IBS per person among 752 individuals with Rome IV IBS was £556.65 (SD £1023.92) and £474.16 (SD £897.86) for 995 individuals with Rome III IBS. We estimate the annual direct healthcare cost of IBS in the United Kingdom is £1.27 billion if the Rome IV criteria are used to define IBS, and £2.07 billion using Rome III. Among individuals with Rome IV IBS, mean annual costs were higher in those with opiate use (£907.90 vs £470.58, p < 0.001), more severe symptoms (p < 0.001 for trend), a shorter duration of IBS (1 year, £1227.14 vs >5 years £501.60, p = 0.002), lower quality of life (p < 0.001 for trend), and higher depression, somatisation and gastrointestinal symptom-specific anxiety scores (P < 0.001 for trend for all).

Conclusion: We estimate annual direct healthcare costs of IBS of between £1.3 and £2 billion in the United Kingdom.



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