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Considerable Medical Costs Associated With Recurrent Vertigo

Large differences noted in mean adjusted annual payments/direct costs across groups

THURSDAY, Oct. 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The three most common causes of recurrent vertigo have considerable medical costs associated with their treatment, according to a study published online Oct. 13 in JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery.

Seth S. Jeong, from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and colleagues conducted an economic evaluation to analyze and identify factors contributing to direct medical costs associated with Ménière disease (MD), vestibular migraine (VM), and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). A total of 53,210 patients were included in the study: 10.9 percent with MD, 6.6 percent with VM, 82.5 percent with BPPV, and 34,738 controls.

The researchers found that patients with no comorbidities or with a Charlson Comorbidity Index score of 0 varied from 98.4 percent to 98.8 percent across the different groups. About 5 percent of patients were hospitalized; inpatient stay lasted 4.6 days to 5.2 days. Large differences were seen in mean adjusted annual payments/direct costs across the different groups after adjusting for age, sex, and comorbidities ($9,579, $11,371, and $8,247 for MD, VM, and BPPV, respectively). Compared with the normal population, this equated to a total incremental estimated cost of $60 billion. The number of outpatient brain magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography scans per patient varied from one to 20, while there were one to six inpatient brain magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography scans per person.

“We found that, on average, payment costs for treating patients were $2,087 to $5,211 higher compared with treating patients without dizziness, after controlling for various demographic and comorbidity factors,” the authors write.

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