Poirrier JE, Meyers JL, Nagar SP, Patterson BJ, Glasser LI, Jabbour SA. Herpes zoster incidence and burden in adults with type 2 diabetes in the U.S.: a retrospective database analysis. Diabetes Care. 2022 Sep 22. doi: 10.2337/dc21-2053


OBJECTIVE: Data on the real-world burden of herpes zoster (HZ) in adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D) in the U.S. are limited. We assessed HZ in patients with and without T2D and measured the impact of HZ on health care resource use (HCRU) and costs.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: This retrospective cohort analysis used U.S. commercial claims data (sourced from claims incurred between 1 January 2012 and 31 July 2018). HZ incidence rates/1,000 person-years (PYs) were calculated in patients with and without T2D. HZ risk was evaluated using Poisson regression to generate adjusted incidence rate ratios (aIRRs). Patients with T2D with HZ were propensity score matched to patients with T2D only and to patients with HZ without T2D. HCRU and costs were compared across cohorts during a 1-year follow-up period. Cox proportional hazards analyses evaluated factors associated with HZ-related complications.

RESULTS: Crude HZ incidence rates in patients with and without T2D were 9.8/1,000 PY and 2.6/1,000 PY, respectively. T2D patients were almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with HZ (aIRR 1.84; 95% CI 1.82–1.85). HZ was associated with increased HCRU and health care costs. At 12 months, unadjusted incremental all-cause health care costs for patients with T2D with HZ versus patients with T2D without HZ were $5,216. The unadjusted incremental HZ-related health care costs for patients with T2D with HZ versus patients with HZ without T2D were $2,726. Age was the most important predictor for HZ-related complications.

CONCLUSIONS: Given the increased risk of HZ and HCRU and cost burden in patients with T2D, HZ prevention in patients with T2D may be beneficial.

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