WESTCHESTER, Ill .– A research abstract that will be presented Monday at SLEEP 2007, the 21st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS) finds that the health care costs of patients with insomnia are higher than for those without insomnia.
Kathleen Foley, PhD, of Thomson Medstat, based this study on a retrospective analysis of health insurance claims data in the United States. Patients were selected if they were diagnosed with insomnia or received a prescription drug for insomnia in 2002 or 2003. A control group of patients was identified during the same study period.
According to the results, unadjusted annual health plan paid costs for insomnia patients were approximately three times higher ($8,978) compared to controls ($2,790). Further, adjusted health plan-paid inpatient costs were 48-79 percent higher, outpatient costs 49-74 percent higher and prescription costs 69-100 percent higher for insomnia patients relative to controls. Unadjusted mental health related costs for patients with insomnia were approximately seven times greater ($461) than those for controls ($64). Out-of-pocket costs for insomnia patients were roughly twice ($1,000) that of the control group ($448).
“Even for controlling for associated comorbidities, health plans and patients paid significantly higher health care costs for patients with insomnia compared to patients without insomnia,” said Foley.
Insomnia is a classification of sleep disorders in which a person has trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up too early. These disorders may also be defined by an overall poor quality of sleep. Insomnia is a common sleep disorder. About 30 percent of adults have insomnia. It is more common among elderly people and women. Some medical conditions cause insomnia, or it may be a side effect of a medication.
The amount of sleep a person gets affects his or her physical health, emotional well-being, mental abilities, productivity and performance. Recent studies associate lack of sleep with serious health problems such as an increased risk of depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Experts recommend that adults get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night to maintain good health and optimum performance.
Persons who think they might have insomnia, or another sleep disorder, are encouraged to consult with their primary care physician, who will refer them to a sleep specialist.
The annual SLEEP meeting brings together an international body of 5,000 leading researchers and clinicians in the field of sleep medicine to present and discuss new findings and medical developments related to sleep and sleep disorders.
More than 1,000 research abstracts will be presented at the SLEEP meeting, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. The four-day scientific meeting will bring to light new findings that enhance the understanding of the processes of sleep and aid the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy and sleep apnea.
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