The Estimated Lifetime Quality-Adjusted Life-Years Lost Due to Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Trichomoniasis in the United States in 2018

J Infect Dis. 2023 Apr 18;227(8):1007-1018. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiad047.


Background: Comprehensive evaluation of the quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) lost attributable to chlamydia, gonorrhea, andtrichomoniasis in the United States is lacking.

Methods: We adapted a previous probability-tree model to estimate the average number of lifetime QALYs lost due to genital chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis, per incident infection and at the population level, by sex and age group. We conducted multivariate sensitivity analyses to address uncertainty around key parameter values.

Results: The estimated total discounted lifetime QALYs lost for men and women, respectively, due to infections acquired in 2018, were 1541 (95% uncertainty interval [UI], 186-6358) and 111 872 (95% UI, 29 777-267 404) for chlamydia, 989 (95% UI, 127-3720) and 12 112 (95% UI, 2 410-33 895) for gonorrhea, and 386 (95% UI, 30-1851) and 4576 (95% UI, 13-30 355) for trichomoniasis. Total QALYs lost were highest among women aged 15-24 years with chlamydia. QALYs lost estimates were highly sensitive to disutilities (health losses) of infections and sequelae, and to duration of infections and chronic sequelae for chlamydia and gonorrhea in women.

Conclusions: The 3 sexually transmitted infections cause substantial health losses in the United States, particularly gonorrhea and chlamydia among women. The estimates of lifetime QALYs lost per infection help to prioritize prevention policies and inform cost-effectiveness analyses of sexually transmitted infection interventions.

Keywords: burden of disease; chlamydia; gonorrhea; quality-adjusted life-years; sexually transmitted diseases; trichomoniasis‌.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Chlamydia Infections* / complications
  • Chlamydia*
  • Female
  • Gonorrhea* / complications
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases* / complications
  • Trichomonas Infections* / complications
  • Trichomonas Infections* / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology