Researchers Release Report On Impact Of Urologic Diseases In America

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Urologic Diseases

UCLA researchers have edited a first-of-its-kind report on the impact of urologic diseases, which found that Americans spend nearly $11 billion annually on medical care for these conditions.

The report may be used to address insurance coverage, access to care, allocation of research dollars, and availability of treatments and services.

UCLA teamed with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and RAND Health to develop the 700-page comprehensive analysis titled "Urologic Diseases in America 2007," which addresses a number of health issues affecting men, women and children.

The extensive report took five years to complete and covers conditions such as prostate cancer, prostatitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate), urinary incontinence, bladder cancer, urinary tract infections, interstitial cystitis, kidney cancer, erectile dysfunction, male infertility, testicular cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.

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"The immense burden of urologic diseases on the American economy and public has never been fully revealed before," said editor and principal investigator Dr. Mark S. Litwin, professor of urology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the UCLA School of Public Health and a researcher at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center. "We documented trends in epidemiology, practice patterns, resource utilization, technology diffusion and costs for urologic disease, which have broad implications for quality of health care, access to care and the equitable allocation of scarce resources, both in terms of medical services and research budgets."

"We hope the report will help public officials, health care organizations, researchers and the public better frame these critical issues," said editor and co-principal investigator Dr. Christopher S. Saigal, assistant professor of urology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a researcher at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center.

Saigal noted that the following key findings from the report already have been published in academic journals:

# Gender, age, race and socioeconomic status influence the type of bladder reconstruction a person with bladder cancer receives; younger men are more likely to get the most sophisticated types of reconstruction. These findings appeared in the July 2006 issue of the journal Cancer.

# The lifetime risk for urinary tract infections (UTIs) in women is greater than 50 percent. Between 1988 and 1994, the overall lifetime prevalence of UTIs was estimated to be 53,067 per 100,000 women. Composite data revealed that overall spending for treating UTIs in American adult women, excluding spending on outpatient prescriptions, was about $2.5 billion in 2000. The findings were published in the April 2005 issue of the Journal of Urology.

# Treatment of men with benign prostatic hyperplasia puts a significant burden on employees and their employers through direct medical costs and lost work time. Direct and indirect private sector costs related to these treatments are estimated at $3.9 billion. These findings were published in the April 2005 issue of the Journal of Urology.

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