Incidence, economic burden, and treatment of acute respiratory tract infection in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation recipients using real world data in Japan: a retrospective claims data analysis

J Med Econ. 2022 Jan-Dec;25(1):870-879. doi: 10.1080/13696998.2022.2088184.


Aims: Acute respiratory tract infections (ARTIs) are common in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) recipients, however, data is limited regarding epidemiology and economic burden of ARTI in HSCT recipients in Japan. We evaluated the incidence of ARTI in HSCT recipients, associated economic burden, and ARTI-related treatments post-HSCT.

Materials and methods: Patients receiving HSCT between July 2017 and December 2018, and those enrolled in the JMDC Claims Database for ≥6 months before index month (month when latest medical procedure code of HSCT recorded) were included. The outcomes included demographics, ARTI incidence, healthcare resource utilization (HCRU), direct costs, and ARTI-related treatments.

Results: In 330 analyzed patients, the ARTI incidence rate was 85.5% during total follow-up, consisting of post-HSCT hospitalization of mean 2.1 months and post-discharge periods of mean 17.6 months (post-HSCT hospitalization: 44.8%; post-discharge: 77.6%). For ARTI vs non-ARTI patients during post-HSCT hospitalization, length of hospitalization was significantly longer (mean [SD] months; 2.40 [1.73] vs 1.84 [1.09]; p = 0.0004), and median cost was significantly higher (JPY; 6,250,120.00 vs 4,774,570.00; p = 0.0096). The cost of outpatient visits during post-discharge periods, drug-related and non-drug-related costs of outpatient visits were generally higher for ARTI vs non-ARTI patients. In ARTI vs non-ARTI patients, utilization of any symptom relievers (decongestants, antitussives, and antipyretics), bronchodilators, immunoglobulin G, antibiotics, antivirals, and oxygen supply were numerically higher during post-HSCT hospitalization and post-discharge periods. The proportion of patients and mean prescription days for immunosuppressants during post-HSCT hospitalization were higher in ARTI vs non-ARTI patients.

Limitations: This administrative claims study lacks clinical data and contains only direct medical costs. Patients were retained if they had at least 1 month of enrollment post-HSCT.

Conclusions: In HSCT recipients, ARTI leads to substantial incremental HCRU and direct costs for management in real-world settings in Japan.

Keywords: Acute respiratory tract infection (ARTI); I; I00; I1; I10; I19; direct cost; healthcare resource utilization; hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).

Plain language summary

People receiving hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) commonly suffer from acute respiratory infections (ARTIs). The real-world data on its incidence and economic impact in Japan is limited. In this study, using the JMDC Claims Database 330 HSCT recipients were identified during July 2017 and December 2018. Of these patients, 85.5% developed ARTI either during post-HSCT hospitalization (44.8%, within mean 2.1 months) or post-discharge period (77.6%, within mean 17.6 months). Patients with ARTI had longer hospital stays (2.40 months vs 1.84 months) and higher in-patient treatment costs (6,250,120.00 JPY vs 4,774,570.00 JPY) than those without ARTI. The costs associated with out-patient treatment, both drug-related and non-drug-related, were also higher for ARTI patients than non-ARTI patients. The use of medicines for stuffy nose (decongestants), dry cough (antitussives), and fever (antipyretics), and other medicines to treat respiratory infections (such as bronchodilators, immunoglobulin G, antibiotics, antivirals, and oxygen supply) was generally high with ARTI patients both during post-HSCT hospitalization and during post-discharge periods. The use of immunosuppressants was also more in patients who acquired ARTI as compared with non-ARTI patients during post-HSCT hospitalization. This study demonstrates the significant impact of ARTI in terms of economic and healthcare resource utilization in HSCT recipients in Japan.

MeSH terms

  • Aftercare
  • Data Analysis
  • Financial Stress
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation* / methods
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Patient Discharge
  • Respiratory Tract Infections* / drug therapy
  • Respiratory Tract Infections* / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies