Healthcare costs attributable to congenital cytomegalovirus infection

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ObjectiveCongenital cytomegalovirus infection (cCMV) can cause symptoms at birth as well as long-term impairment. This study estimates cCMV-related healthcare costs in the Netherlands in early childhood.Design, setting and patientsIn a nationwide retrospective cohort study, 156 children with cCMV were identified by testing 31 484 neonatal dried blood spots for cCMV. Use of healthcare resources in the first 6 years of life by children with cCMV and a matched cCMV-negative control group were analysed. Mean costs per child were calculated by multiplying healthcare resource use by its reference prices.ExposureChildren with cCMV were compared with cCMV-negative children.Main outcome measuresThe average total healthcare costs per child were based on the average costs for hospital admissions and consultations by healthcare providers.ResultsMean healthcare costs of children with cCMV (€6113, n=133) were higher than children without cCMV (€3570, n=274), although statistically not significant, with a mean difference of €2544 (95% CI €-451 to €5538). The costs of children with long-term impairment were two times higher in children with cCMV (€17 205) compared with children without cCMV (€8332).ConclusionsChildren with cCMV, especially those with long-term impairment and those symptomatic at birth, accrue higher healthcare costs than cCMV-negative children in the first 6 years of life, although this is not statistically significant. This economic impact is of importance in the evaluation of preventive measures against cCMV.Trial registration numberNTR3582.

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