Increased Health Care Resource Utilization and Costs Associated with Herpes Zoster Among Patients Aged ≥50 Years with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in the United States

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases, 2021


Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are potentially at increased risk of herpes zoster (HZ). Little is known about the impact of an HZ episode on health care resource utilization (HRU) and costs among patients with COPD.


This retrospective cohort study of individuals aged ≥50 years in the United States (US) used administrative claims data from Optum's de-identified Clinformatics Data Mart Database for commercially insured and Medicare Advantage members (2013-2018). Two cohorts of patients with COPD, with HZ (COPD+/HZ+) and without HZ (COPD+/HZ-), were identified. All-cause and COPD-related HRU rates and costs (2018 US dollars) were compared between cohorts for up to 12 months of follow-up. Comparisons were controlled for baseline differences through propensity score adjustment.


A total of 3415 COPD+/HZ+ and 35,360 COPD+/HZ- patients (mean ages 73.2 ± 9.0 and 72.4 ± 9.4 years, respectively) were identified. Patients in the COPD+/HZ+ versus COPD+/HZ- cohort had increased use of all-cause (adjusted incidence rate ratio [aIRR] 1.17; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.14, 1.21) and COPD-related (aIRR 1.27; 95% CI 1.21, 1.34) medical services (both P<0.001) and higher mean total all-cause ($4140 versus $3749 per person per month [PPPM]; adjusted cost difference +$313 PPPM) and COPD-related ($1541 versus $1231 PPPM; +$152 PPPM) costs (both P<0.004) in the year after HZ.


HRU and cost burden is higher in patients with COPD with vs without HZ. These results could help to estimate the potential cost benefits of HZ vaccination among patients with COPD.

View abstract


Ghaswalla P, Thompson-Leduc P, Cheng WY, Kunzweiler C, Wang M, Bogart M, Patterson BJ, Duh MS, Wojciehowski J, Park S, Yawn BP