Healthcare use among U.S. women aged 45 and older: total costs and costs for selected postmenopausal health risks. Academic Article uri icon


  • The purpose of this study is to estimate the level of healthcare use and costs incurred by postmenopausal women overall and for these selected conditions: cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, breast cancer, and gynecological cancers. National healthcare survey and discharge data were used to estimate healthcare use by women aged 45 and older. Clinical Classification for Health Policy Research (CCHPR) codes were used to identify patients whose primary diagnosis or procedure corresponded with the selected conditions. National weights were used to estimate resource use. Treatment costs were estimated using cost/charge ratios or the Medicare fee schedule to calculate costs for each individual procedure. Estimated total annual medical care treatment costs for women 45 and older were about $186 billion in 1997 dollars, including about $60.4 billion for cardiovascular disease, $12.9 billion for osteoporosis, and $5.0 billion for breast and gynecological cancers. For each condition, estimated resource use and costs are reported for hospitalization, outpatient, nursing home, and home healthcare services. Resource use and costs are also reported by age and expected source of payment. The economic burden of disease for conditions commonly affecting postmenopausal women is substantial. Prior research establishes that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be effective in reducing the burden of disease among women who continue preventive therapy for many years, but few at-risk women do so. New alternatives for prevention, such as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), may be effective in reducing the burden of disease among postmenopausal women.

published proceedings

  • J Womens Health Gend Based Med

author list (cited authors)

  • Hoerger, T. J., Downs, K. E., Lakshmanan, M. C., Lindrooth, R. C., Plouffe, L., Wendling, B., West, S. L., & Ohsfeldt, R. L.

citation count

  • 66

complete list of authors

  • Hoerger, TJ||Downs, KE||Lakshmanan, MC||Lindrooth, RC||Plouffe, L||Wendling, B||West, SL||Ohsfeldt, RL

publication date

  • January 1999