Hot on the heels of a previous report comes another study examining the burden of endometriosis on the individual and society as a whole. This one is a bit more in depth though, taking information from 909 women from 10 different countries including: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, UK and USA. The women who took part in this study were given specially designed questionnaires that would assess the impact of endometriosis on their lives and included questions on a number of subjects from health care costs to work loss and quality of life. What makes this study different then from all the previous studies that have examined the costs of endometriosis? Well, this study is the only one I know of that has taken women from multiple countries, also other studies have usually only focussed on one aspect, such as health care or work productivity, never both.
But enough of the details, what did this study actually discover? The main finding from this study was a number, €9,579, equivalent to $12,635 or £7,990; this was the average cost of endometriosis per woman, per year. This breaks down to an average €6298 lost in work productivity and an average €3113 for health care costs (which is similar to health care costs of diabetes, Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis). So with those numbers in mind let’s do some maths. If the average total cost of endometriosis per woman is £7,990 (I’ll work in British pounds because that’s what I’ve got in my pocket) and the UK has approximately two million endo sufferers, this means endometriosis costs the UK economy around £15,980,000,000 per year (The authors of the study reported it as £8.3billion, but they estimated the prevalence at only 7%). That is what we technically call, in the scientific community, a shitload of money. Feel free to re-do the calculation for your own country and sit back and be shocked by how much money is being lost by governments who ignore endometriosis.