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Background: In the United States (US), congenital cytomegalovirus infection (cCMVi) is a major cause of permanent disabilities and the most common etiology of non-genetic sensorineural hearing loss. Evaluations of prevention strategies will require estimates of the economic implications of cCMVi. We aimed to develop a conceptual framework to characterize the lifetime economic burden of cCMVi in the US and to use that framework to identify data gaps. Methods: Direct health care, direct non-health care, indirect, and intangible costs associated with cCMVi were considered. An initial framework was constructed based on a targeted literature review, then validated and refined after consultation with experts. Published costs were identified and used to populate the framework. Data gaps were identified. Results: The framework was constructed as a chance tree, categorizing clinical event occurrence to form patient profiles associated with distinct economic trajectories. The distribution and magnitude of costs varied by patient life stage, cCMVi diagnosis, severity of impairment, and developmental delays/disabilities. Published studies could not fully populate the framework. The literature best characterized direct health care costs associated with the birth period. Gaps existed for direct non-health care, indirect, and intangible costs, as well as health care costs associated with adult patients and those severely impaired. Conclusions: Data gaps exist concerning the lifetime economic burden of cCMVi in the US. The conceptual framework provides the basis for a research agenda to address these gaps. Understanding the full lifetime economic burden of cCMVi would inform clinicians, researchers, and policymakers, when assessing the value of cCMVi interventions.
Lucas, A., Sinha, A., Fowler, K. B., Mladsi, D., Barnett, C., Samant, S., & Gibson, L. (2019). A framework for assessing the lifetime economic burden of congenital cytomegalovirus in the United States. Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation, 17(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12962-019-0189-0