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Economic cost of congenital CMV in the UK


Objective Congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV) is the most common infectious cause of congenital disability. It can disrupt neurodevelopment, causing lifelong impairments including sensorineural hearing loss and developmental delay. This study aimed, for the first time, to estimate the annual economic burden of managing cCMV and its sequelae in the UK.

Design The study collated available secondary data to develop a static cost model.

Setting The model aimed to estimate costs of cCMV in the UK for the year 2016.

Patients Individuals of all ages with cCMV.

Main outcome measures Direct (incurred by the public sector) and indirect (incurred personally or by society) costs associated with management of cCMV and its sequelae.

Results The model estimated that the total cost of cCMV to the UK in 2016 was £732 million (lower and upper estimates were between £495 and £942 million). Approximately 40% of the costs were directly incurred by the public sector, with the remaining 60% being indirect costs, including lost productivity. Long-term impairments caused by the virus had a higher financial burden than the acute management of cCMV.

Conclusions The cost of cCMV is substantial, predominantly stemming from long-term impairments. Costs should be compared against investment in educational strategies and vaccine development programmes that aim to prevent virus transmission, as well as the value of introducing universal screening for cCMV to both increase detection of children who would benefit from treatment, and to build a more robust evidence base for future research.

  • congenital abnorm
  • deafness
  • health economics
  • infectious diseases
  • neurodevelopment

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