Humanistic and economic impacts of hepatitis C infection in the United States

Marco Dacosta DiBonaventura, Jan Samuel Wagner, Yong Yuan, Gilbert L'Italien, Paul Langley, W. Ray Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Objective: Prior research examining the effect of hepatitis C virus (HCV) on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and healthcare costs is flawed because non-patient controls were not adequately comparable to HCV patients. The current study uses a propensity score matching methodology to address the following research question: is the presence of diagnosed hepatitis C (HCV) associated with poorer health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and greater healthcare resource use Methods: Using data from the 2009 US National Health and Wellness Survey, patients who reported a HCV diagnosis (n695) were compared to propensity-matched controls (n695) on measures of HRQoL and healthcare resource use. All analyses applied sampling weights to project to the US population. Results: HCV patients reported significantly lower levels of HRQoL relative to the matched-control group, including the physical component score (39.6 vs. 42.7, p<0.0001) and health utilities (0.63 vs. 0.66, p<0.0001). The number of emergency room visits (0.59 vs. 0.44, p<0.05) and physician visits (7.7 vs. 5.9, p<0.05) in the past 6 months were significantly higher for the HCV group relative to matched controls. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that HCV represents a substantial burden on patients by having a significant and clinically-relevant impact on key dimensions of HRQoL as well as on utilization of healthcare resources, the latter of which would result in increased direct medical costs. Limitations: Due to limitations of the internet survey approach (e.g., inability to confirm HCV diagnosis), future research is needed to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)709-718
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Medical Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Emergency room visits
  • Health status
  • Healthcare provider visits
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Hospitalizations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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