This study was undertaken to estimate the annual direct costs of complications associated with bacterial vaginosis (BV) in pregnant women in the United States.
An economic model was developed from evidence in the published literature linking perinatal complications to BV. The estimates of attributable risks were applied to the estimated population of pregnant women in the United States in 1993. The charge data from a database of hospital utilization information were then used to estimate the direct costs of each pregnancy complication and the total direct costs associated with BV.
Under the assumptions of our model, the direct costs of preterm labor, preterm delivery, the attendant low birth weight (LBW), and other perinatal complications associated with BV were estimated at nearly $1.0 billion in 1993. Over 40% of the total cost was associated with preterm delivery and intensive care of LBW infants, while another 24.5% of the cost was related to preterm labor.
If the current frequency of BV among pregnant women persists and BV is not detected and treated during pregnancy, the projected annual costs will reach $1.4 billion by the year 2000. Reducing the heavy economic burden associated with BV in pregnant women will require the establishment of effective screening and treatment regimens.
Worldwide Health Care Economic and Policy Research The Upjohn Company, Kalamazoo, MI 49001, USA.