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Binge Eating Disorder Creates Significant Health Care Burden

Costs are significantly higher for BED patients than for matched patients without eating disorder

THURSDAY, May 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Health care costs are similar for patients with binge eating disorder (BED) and those with eating disorder not otherwise specified without BED (EDNOS-only), and are significantly higher compared with costs of matched patients without an eating disorder (NED), according to a study published online May 8 in the International Journal Eating Disorders.

Brandon K. Bellows, Pharm.D., from VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, and colleagues compared one-year health care costs and utilization for adult patients with BED and EDNOS. Data were included for 257 BED patients, 743 EDNOS-only patients, and 823 NED patients, matched for age, sex, body mass index, depression diagnosis, and index month of first diagnosis.

The researchers found that in 2011 U.S. dollars, the mean total one-year costs were $33,716, $37,052, and $19,548 for BED, EDNOS-only, and NED patients, respectively. BED patients had higher one-year total health care costs compared with EDNOS-only ($5,589 higher; P = 0.06) and matched NED patients ($18,152 higher; P < 0.001), after adjustment for patient characteristics.

“Patients with BED had significantly higher total health care costs than patients with NED, indicating that BED places a significant burden on the health care system,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies. The study was funded by Shire Development and Anolinx.

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