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Health Aff (Millwood). 2011 Feb;30(2):340-8. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2008.0905.

A simulation shows that early treatment of chronic hepatitis B infection can cut deaths and be cost-effective.

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  • 1University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Erratum in

  • Health Aff (Millwood). 2011 Mar;30(3):538.


Chronic hepatitis B affects between 800,000 and two million people in the United States and causes 4,000 deaths each year. Yet the costs and benefits of treatment have not been fully evaluated. Using a model that simulates disease progression, we compare treatment programs for hepatitis B that start at an early stage of the disease to treatment that begins at a late stage. Our analysis concludes that early hepatitis B care can improve health, reduce premature deaths, and prevent expensive complications, making it highly cost-effective in the long term. Our results demonstrate the importance of screening for hepatitis B among at-risk groups and then linking screening to treatment. They also illustrate how predictive models can be used to evaluate strategies for improving access to care.

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