Burden of uterine fibroids in Italy: epidemiology, treatment outcomes, and consumption of health care resources in more than 5,000 women.
Chiumente M, De Rosa M, Messori A, Proli EM.
Analisi statistiche e metanalisi
Clinicoecon Outcomes Res
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Epidemiological studies on uterine fibroids (UFs) are mostly based on surveys or analyses of small samples of patients. In 50% of women, the quality of life is worsened by disease-related symptoms; furthermore, treatments imply a remarkable health care cost. The aim of this observational study was to analyze a large sample of Italian patients with UFs and to assess the epidemiology, the appropriateness of treatments, and the consumption of disease-related resources.
METHODS: Data were collected through a data-linkage technique from five administrative databases. Women aged between 18 and 55 years and resident in three local health authorities (north-central-south Italy) were selected over the period from 1st January 2009 to 31st December 2015. The inclusion criteria were a surgical procedure with diagnosis of UFs or a pharmacological treatment with gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs or ulipristal acetate. Besides the overall descriptive analysis, two comparisons were evaluated: surgery versus no surgery and treatment with GnRH analogs versus ulipristal acetate.
RESULTS: A total of 5,665 women with UFs were selected from an overall population of 2,400,000 people. In the north, 73.6% of patients underwent surgery, as opposed to only 16.7% in the south; 70% of surgeries were hysterectomies. The average cost per patient was €3,249 (duration of follow-up = up to 7 years). The southern district had the highest number of drug prescriptions; in particular, 49% of patients took >10 packages of GnRH analogs.
CONCLUSION: This study is the first on this topic conducted in Italy using a large sample size. The analysis of resource consumption revealed a high heterogeneity in the choice of drug treatments by gynecologists (especially in the south); in the north, marked variations were seen in the rates of surgery. The long-term use of GnRH was inappropriate.
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