Direct health care costs of laryngeal diseases and disorders


  • Presented at the American Laryngological Association Meeting, San Diego, California, U.S.A., April 18–19, 2012.

  • This study was funded by the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. The authors have no other funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.



To estimate the annual direct costs associated with the diagnosis and management of laryngeal disorders.

Study Design:

Retrospective analysis of data from a large, nationally representative, administrative US claims database.


Patients with a laryngeal disorder based on International Classification of Diseases,Ninth Revision-Clinical Modification codes from January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2008 and who were continuously enrolled for 12 months were included. Data regarding age, gender, geographic location, and type of physician providing the diagnosis were collected. Medical encounter, medication, and procedure costs were determined. Total and mean costs per person for 12 months were determined.


Of almost 55 million individuals in the database, 309,300 patients with 12 months follow-up, mean age of 47.3 years (standard deviation: 21.3), and 63.5% female were identified. Acute and chronic laryngitis, nonspecific causes of dysphonia, and benign vocal fold lesions were the most common etiologies. The total annual direct costs ranged between $178,524,552 to $294,827,671, with mean costs per person between $577.18 and $953.21. Pharmacy claims accounted for 20.1% to 33.3%, procedure claims 50.4% to 69.9%, and medical encounter claims 16.3% to 8.6% of overall direct costs. Antireflux medication accounted for roughly 10% and antibiotics 6% of annual direct costs.


This study establishes the economic impact of the assessment and management of patients with laryngeal disorders and permits cost comparisons with other diseases. Laryngoscope, 2012