Publication Abstract

Authors: Lang K, Danchenko N, Gondek K, Shah S, Thompson D

Title: The burden of illness associated with hepatocellular carcinoma in the United States.

Journal: J Hepatol 50(1):89-99

Date: 2009 Jan

Abstract: BACKGROUND/AIMS: Despite the rising prevalence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), data on its economic consequences are limited. This study was undertaken to estimate the aggregate annual financial burden associated with HCC in the United States, including healthcare costs and the value of lost productivity. METHODS: Annual prevalence of HCC and incidence and survival were estimated using SEER data. The linked SEER-Medicare database was used to estimate distributions of healthcare utilization, quantities of treatment, and unit costs among 392 HCC patients. An age- and sex-matched cohort of non-cancer controls was used to estimate background non-cancer-related resource use and costs. RESULTS: We determined the annual cost of HCC in the United States to be $454.9 million, with per-patient costs of $32,907. Healthcare costs and lost productivity accounted for 89.2% and 10.8% of total cost, respectively. Costs associated with localized HCC accounted for the highest portion (44.5%) of the total cost of illness, at $202.5 million. Regional, distant, and unstaged HCC accounted for 31.0%, 13.9%, and 10.6%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Our results exhibit a considerable economic impact of HCC and substantial national spending on this disease.