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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

RHEINGANS, Richard D. et al. Economic and health burden of rotavirus gastroenteritis for the 2003 birth cohort in eight Latin American and Caribbean countries. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2007, vol.21, n.4, pp. 192-204. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892007000300002.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the health and economic burden of rotavirus gastroenteritis in hospital and outpatient settings in eight Latin American and Caribbean countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, and Venezuela). METHODS: An economic model was constructed using epidemiological data from published articles, national health administration studies, and country-specific cost estimates. For each of the eight countries, the model estimated the rotavirus outcomes for the 2003 birth cohort during the first five years of life. The main outcome measures included health care costs, transportation costs, lost wages, and disease burden expressed in disability-adjusted life years. Estimates were expressed in 2003 US dollars. All future costs and disability-adjusted life year estimates were discounted at a rate of 3%. Sensitivity analyses evaluated the impact of specific variables on the medical cost of treating rotavirus. RESULTS: For every 1 000 children born during 2003 in the eight Latin American and Caribbean countries studied here, we estimated that rotavirus gastroenteritis would result in an average of 246 outpatient visits, 24 hospitalizations, 0.6 deaths, and US$ 7 971 in direct medical costs during their first five years of life. The incidence of rotavirus-associated outpatient visits and the cost of outpatient visits were predicted to have the largest impact on the total medical cost per child. CONCLUSIONS: Rotavirus gastroenteritis is likely to result in substantial disease and economic burden to health systems in Latin American and Caribbean countries, and the foreseeable burden should be an important consideration in evaluating the cost-effectiveness of vaccination.

Keywords : Rotavirus; gastroenteritis; costs and cost analysis; cost of illness; models, economic; Latin America; Caribbean Region.

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