Original Research| Volume 44, ISSUE 2, P282-294, February 2022

Health Care Resource Utilization and Economic Burden Associated With Congenital Cytomegalovirus Infection: A Longitudinal Analysis of Data From Clinical Practice at a Large Health Care Provider in Israel



      Congenital cytomegalovirus infection (cCMVi) is the leading cause of nonhereditary sensorineural hearing loss and can cause other long-term neurodevelopmental disabilities; however, data on the economic burden of cCMVi during early childhood are scarce. The primary objective of the study was to describe longitudinal patterns of health care resource utilization (HCRU) and direct medical costs among infants with cCMVi compared to infants unexposed to cCMVi.


      A retrospective cohort study was performed using data on infants born between 2013 and 2017, as captured in the database of Maccabi Healthcare Services, a 2.5 million–member health care organization in Israel. cCMVi cases were identified by physician diagnosis and/or dispensed valganciclovir within 90 days after birth. Infants born to mothers CMV-seronegative throughout pregnancy were selected for comparison (unexposed controls). Infants were retrospectively followed up through December 31, 2018, or 4 years of age (Y4). HCRU included physician visits, hospital admissions, audiology tests/procedures, imaging, and valganciclovir treatment. Direct medical costs, in US dollars per person per year (USD PPPY) were calculated from the health-system perspective. To compare costs of cCMVi cases and controls, direct medical costs were estimated using a generalized linear model with a log link function and γ distribution after adjustment for patient characteristics.


      A total of 351 cCMVi cases and 11,733 control infants with continuous follow-up during their first year of life (Y1) were included in the study. In Y1, cases were more likely to have a hospital admission (8.5% cases vs 4.5% control; P < 0.001) and higher numbers of pediatrician visits (median, 18 vs 15), audiology visits and tests, and cranial ultrasounds (all, P < 0.05). Longitudinally, incremental costs associated with cases were highest in Y1 (1686.7 USD PPPY; cost ratio = 2.6; P < 0.001) and remained elevated through Y4.


      cCMVi was associated with substantial increases in HCRU and economic burden during early childhood, and particularly during the first year of life.


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