Prior research examining the effect of hepatitis C virus (HCV) on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and healthcare costs is flawed because non-patient controls were not adequately comparable to HCV patients. The current study uses a propensity score matching methodology to address the following research question: is the presence of diagnosed hepatitis C (HCV) associated with poorer health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and greater healthcare resource use?Using data from the 2009 US National Health and Wellness Survey, patients who reported a HCV diagnosis (n = 695) were compared to propensity-matched controls (n = 695) on measures of HRQoL and healthcare resource use. All analyses applied sampling weights to project to the US population.HCV patients reported significantly lower levels of HRQoL relative to the matched-control group, including the physical component score (39.6 vs. 42.7, p < 0.0001) and health utilities (0.63 vs. 0.66, p < 0.0001). The number of emergency room visits (0.59 vs. 0.44, p < 0.05) and physician visits (7.7 vs. 5.9, p < 0.05) in the past 6 months were significantly higher for the HCV group relative to matched controls.The results of this study suggest that HCV represents a substantial burden on patients by having a significant and clinically-relevant impact on key dimensions of HRQoL as well as on utilization of healthcare resources, the latter of which would result in increased direct medical costs.Due to limitations of the internet survey approach (e.g., inability to confirm HCV diagnosis), future research is needed to confirm these findings.
View details for DOI 10.3111/13696998.2010.535576
View details for PubMedID 21091098