The burden of hepatitis C virus infection in children: estimated direct medical costs over a 10-year period.
OBJECTIVE: To quantify the burden of pediatric hepatitis C virus (HCV) disease over the coming decade. STUDY DESIGN: Using national Census results and published and unpublished data, we constructed estimates of HCV prevalence, incidence, rate of vertical transmission, sustained viral response (SVR), and severe complications of infection. Using these figures, we generated a projection model for pediatric HCV outcomes, and we then performed a sensitivity analysis by altering the rates of fibrosis development and SVR. RESULTS: A prevalence of 23,048 to 42,296 pediatric patients with chronic HCV combined with 7200 new cases from vertical transmission was used for further calculations. Over the next decade, estimated screening costs were 26 million US dollars, monitoring costs ranged from 117 million US dollars to 206 million US dollars, and treatment costs ranged from 56 million US dollars to 104 million US dollars. CONCLUSIONS: To date, pediatric HCV has received relatively little attention, but it will have a significant economic impact over the next 10 years if changes in practice are not made.
Jhaveri, R; Grant, W; Kauf, TL; McHutchison, J
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