by Carolina Rosadas, Tatiane Assone, Marina Yamashita, Adine Adonis, Marzia Puccioni-Sohler, Marisa Santos, Arthur Paiva, Jorge Casseb, Augusto C. P. Oliveira, Graham P. Taylor
Background: HTLV-1 is a neglected sexually transmitted infection despite being the cause of disabling neurological disease HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). There is no treatment for this infection and public health policies are essential to reduce its transmission. However, there are no data to support adequate cost-effective analysis in this field. The aim of this study was to obtain health state utility values for individuals with HAM/TSP and HTLV-1 asymptomatic carriers (AC). The impact of both states on quality of life (QoL) is described and compared to other diseases. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study of 141 individuals infected with HTLV-1 (79 with HAM/TSP and 62 AC) from three Brazilian states (Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Alagoas) and from the United Kingdom. Participants completed a validated general health questionnaire (EQ-5D, Euroqol) from which country specific health state utility values are generated. Clinical and epidemiological data were collated. Principal findings: Health state utility value for HAM/TSP was 0.2991. QoL for 130 reported clinical conditions ranges from 0.35 to 0.847. 12% reported their quality of life as worse as death. Low QoL was associated with severity rather than duration of disease with a moderate inverse correlation between QoL and Osame’s Motor Disability Score (-0.4933) Patients who are wheelchair dependent had lowest QoL whilst those still walking unaided had the highest. AC also reported impaired QoL (0.7121) compared to general population. Conclusion: HTLV-1 and its associated neurological disease has a marked impact on QoL. This study provides robust data to support the development of cost-utility analysis of interventions for HTLV-1.