Epidemiology and costs of herpes zoster: Background data to estimate the impact of vaccination

Valeria Di Legami, Maria Michela Gianino, Marta Ciofi Degli Atti, Marco Massari, Alessandro Migliardi, Gianpaolo Scalia Tomba, Carla Zotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 2004, we conducted a study in Piemonte (Italy), in order to describe incidence, treatment, hospitalizations and costs of herpes zoster (HZ), in population over 14 years of age. Twenty-four regional general practitioners, with 26,394 patients >14 years in charge (0.71% of the regional population), reported prospectively all diagnosed HZ cases. In addition, all regional hospital discharge records were reviewed. Forty-six HZ cases treated at home were reported, accounting for a total incidence of 1.74 cases/1000 population >14 years per year. HZ rate standardized by age on regional population 14 years older is 1.59/1000. The cost per observed home case was €136.06. The incidence of hospital admissions was 0.12/1000 inhabitants. The mean cost of hospitalized cases was €4082.59. These results contribute to depict the impact of HZ in the general population, and to provide background data for setting-up either mathematical models aimed to estimate the impact of vaccination on HZ, and the cost-benefit analyses of various preventive and therapeutic scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7598-7604
Number of pages7
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - Oct 23 2007


  • Costs
  • General practitioners
  • Herpes zoster
  • Hospital admissions
  • Incidence
  • Treatments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • veterinary(all)


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