Measuring herpes zoster, zoster-associated pain, post-herpetic neuralgia-associated loss of quality of life, and healthcare utilization and costs in Thailand

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ObjectivesThis study aimed to measure the herpes zoster-associated burden of illness, healthcare utilization, and costs among Thai patients.MethodsThis prospective cohort study of 180 patients aged ≥ 50 years and healthy, or ≥ 20 years and immunosuppressed, with zoster rash, was conducted in Bangkok and its environs, Thailand, during 2007–2008. Each patient was followed for six months for zoster-associated rash, pain, quality of life (QoL), and healthcare utilization and costs.ResultsA total of 180 subjects were enrolled in the study. Their mean ± standard deviation (SD) age was 58.9 ± 13.8 years. Of the 180 patients enrolled, 138 (76.7%), 34 (18.9%) and eight (4.4%) patients were elderly, HIV-infected, and receiving immunosuppressive agents, respectively; 35 (19.4%) had post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), and 13 (7.2%) had zoster ophthalmicus. The severity of zoster pain was moderately highly correlated with activities of daily living (ADL), at 0.68 ≤ ρ ≤ 0.76. Most patients required only one or two outpatient visits. The mean ± SD total of direct healthcare costs was 3083.4 ± 5047.0 Thai baht or ˜ 1.1% of annual income per capita.ConclusionsHerpes zoster contributes a significant burden of illness to both patients and the wider community.

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