Washington, DC – CARE (Community, Action, Research and Education) About Fibroids, a nonprofit women's health organization dedicated to raising awareness of the impact of uterine fibroids among women in the U.S., published the fourth in a series of white papers seeking to highlight the challenges facing women living with fibroids. The paper published today titled, “The Financial Impact of Uterine Fibroids” explores the economic implications of fibroids including the loss of productivity for women that cost the U.S. economy $34 billion annually.
CARE About Fibroids partnered with Responsum Health, a leading patient engagement platform developer, to conduct a survey of uterine fibroids patients regarding their individual experiences with this condition. By elevating patient voices, the report identifies the surmounting cost of fibroids to women’s lives — from career sacrifices and pregnancy complications to surgical costs and dietary restrictions. In working together with patients, CARE About Fibroids uncovers why 57 percent of women report needing financial assistance while living with their fibroids.
"The data published in, 'The Financial Impact of Uterine Fibroids' is a monumental step in addressing the significant impact of uterine fibroids and will help to highlight, not only the physical burden, but the enormous economic burden," said Tanika Gray Valbrun, Executive Director of The White Dress Project. "We are excited for the important work that CARE About Fibroids continues to do to uncover data and science which will ultimately have a huge impact on those who are managing life with fibroids."
“We are proud of our ongoing work to highlight the distinct challenges that uterine fibroids patients must face,” said Jenny Rosenberg, Executive Director of CARE About Fibroids. “By breaking down the actual economic costs associated with symptomatic fibroids — including missed work, lost wages, and out-of-pocket medical costs — this report clearly demonstrates the need for more resources, research, and innovation to improve the lives those who suffer from this debilitating condition.”
When compounded with the daily pain and frustration of uterine fibroids, the high cost of fibroid care can be overwhelming and too often puts treatment out of reach. By exposing the impact of uterine fibroids on patients’ financial wellbeing, this report aims to create greater policymaker awareness around the critical need for further attention, support and research on this often-debilitating chronic condition.
About Uterine Fibroids
Fibroids consist of lumps made of muscle cells and other tissues that grow in or around the wall of a woman’s uterus. According to recent studies, women with “symptomatic” fibroids wait, on average, more than three years before seeing a doctor and almost a third (32 percent) wait up to five years. These tumors can cause serious medical issues, including heavy menstrual bleeding, debilitating pelvic pain, urinary symptoms, and more. Fibroids account for one-third of all hysterectomies performed in the U.S. and disproportionately impact women of color.
In terms of the economic impact, it is estimated that more than $9 billion is spent annually for surgery, hospital admissions, outpatient visits, medications, and other direct medical costs for fibroid treatment. Symptomatic fibroids cost the economy above $17 billion annually in absenteeism, lost work, and short-term disability. An additional $8 billion is spent annually on uterine fibroid-related pregnancy complications.
About Responsum Health
Responsum Health’s mission is to build and support online knowledge communities for chronic disease patients. The company offers a free, revolutionary patient engagement platform that monitors, searches, and curates the internet to generate a personalized Newsfeed of article summaries, which are vetted by Responsum’s patient group partners. One such platform is Responsum for Fibroids (https://responsumhealth.com/fibroids/). Each of Responsum’s platforms enables patients to comment on and rate articles, as well as share them with their professional care team and loved ones. Responsum also helps patients to better organize their health information, find local patient support groups and services, and support one another through a moderated, disease-specific social wall.
CARE About Fibroids
CARE About Fibroids is taking the lead in mobilizing women’s health advocacy and policy-focused organizations to build greater awareness of uterine fibroids, as well as a sense of urgency around the need for improved diagnosis, expanded and better treatment options, and enhanced patient access to appropriate care.
CARE About Fibroids is headquartered in Washington, DC, under the direction of its Executive Director Jenny Rosenberg and a Steering Committee of leading independent nonprofits focused on women’s health. Currently, the Steering Committee is comprised of the Black Women’s Health Imperative, COSHAR Healthy Communities Foundation, HealthyWomen and To Know Is To Know. The White Dress Project is CARE About Fibroids strategic advocacy partner. Additional members of CARE About Fibroids include the American Sexual Health Association and the National Partnership for Women and Families.