The economic burden of human papillomavirus-related precancers and cancers in Sweden

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Abstract

© 2017 Östensson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. High-risk (HR) human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is an established cause of malignant disease. We used a societal perspective to estimate the cost of HR HPV-related cervical, vulvar, vaginal, anal, and penile precancer and cancer, and oropharyngeal cancer in Sweden in 2006, 1 year before HPV vaccination became available in the country. Materials and methods This prevalence-based cost-of-illness study used diagnosis-specific data from national registries to determine the number of HR HPV-related precancers and cancers. The HR HPV-attributable fractions of these diseases were derived from a literature review and applied to the total burden to estimate HR HPV-attributable costs. Direct costs were based on health care utilization and indirect costs on loss of productivity due to morbidity (i.e., sick leave and early retirement) and premature mortality. Results The total annual cost of all HR HPV-attributable precancers and cancers was €94 million (€10.3/inhabitant). Direct costs accounted for €31.3 million (€3.4/inhabitant) of the total annual cost, and inpatient care amounted to €20.7 million of direct costs. Indirect costs made up €62.6 million (€6.9/inhabitant) of the total annual cost, and premature mortality amounted to €36 million of indirect costs. Cervical precancer and cancer was most costly (total annual cost €58.4 million). Among cancers affecting both genders, anal precancer and cancer, and oropharyngeal cancer were the most costly (€11.2 million and €11.9 million, respectively). For oropharyngeal cancer, males had the highest health care utilization and represented 71% of the total annual cost. Penile precancer and cancer was least costly (€2.6 million). Conclusion The economic burden of HR HPV-related precancers and cancers is substantial. The disease-related management and treatment costs we report are relevant as a point of reference for future economic evaluations investigating the overall benefits of HPV vaccination in females and males in Sweden.

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Östensson, E., Silfverschiöld, M., Greiff, L., Asciutto, C., Wennerberg, J., Lydryp, M. L., … Borgfeldt, C. (2017). The economic burden of human papillomavirus-related precancers and cancers in Sweden. PLoS ONE, 12(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0179520

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