Annual medical expenses for Crohn's disease patients were $18,963 versus $5,300 for a matched comparison group. Ulcerative colitis patients' annual medical expenses were $15,020 versus $4,982 for the matched comparison group.That's just for having Crohn's or colitis. Now, add in surgery and those figures become unimpressive altogether.
Annual medical costs for patients with a gastrointestinal surgery were $60,147 for patients with Crohn's disease and $72,415 for patients with ulcerative colitis.
I would love to know why us Crohnies are more expensive than colitis patients except in the case of surgery. The only thing I can figure is perhaps, since colitis is strictly located in the colon (whereas Crohn's can present literally anywhere along the digestive tract) that the colon is slower to heal and/or some Crohn's patients need surgery in more resilient areas?
Regardless of why there is a differential, what is plain to see is that no human resources director will read this information and want any part of hiring a Crohn's or colitis patient. I cannot fault the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine for publishing these findings, nor can I fault the authors of the article for conducting the research. The facts are what they are. Still, as a Crohn's patient who has been out of work entirely too long already, I cannot help but wonder what impact these findings will have on the already limited employment opportunities available to my digestively challenged brethren.
Note: Clicking on the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine title in the first paragraph will link you to a Market Watch article detailing the findings of the original article. Medical trade journal articles are not regularly made available to the public, so this is the best I can do for those who would like to review the information for themselves.