Cost analysis of paediatric tuberculosis treatment in Japan

Mahbubur Rahman, O. Takahashi, I. Takamatsu, M. Sekimoto, K. Hira, T. Fukui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To estimate the cost of treating a tuberculosis (TB) case and to analyse TB-related medical service utilisation, a cost-of-illness study was conducted for all patients with a primary diagnosis of TB admitted to a public hospital in Japan. METHODS: Retrospective analysis by abstracting in- and out-patient medical records of 57 paediatric patients diagnosed with TB during 1993-1998 at a public hospital in Osaka prefecture. Costs were estimated based on third party's payer perspectives according to the service utilisation pattern. In addition to cost data, sociodemographic information and service utilisation pattern were also extracted from the medical records. Cost of preventing a case of TB was abstracted from the published literature. RESULTS: The average cost of treatment was US$8384 (95 %CI 5667-11099), while the average length of hospitalisation was 63 days (95%CI 43-84). Based on 20-80% vaccine efficacy, the cost of preventing a case of TB was US$35 950-175 862. In univariate analysis, site of TB (P = 0.04) was significantly associated with TB treatment cost, while case-finding method (contact tracing, symptoms, etc.) was associated with length of hospitalisation (P = 0.03). Multivariate regression analysis, however, showed none of the factors to be significant predictors of TB treatment cost and length of hospital stay. CONCLUSION: The cost of treating a case of paediatric TB is much lower than that of preventing one. Japan's universal BCG vaccination policy should be re-examined in the light of economic, social and political issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-257
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacillus Calmette-Guérin
  • Costs
  • Japan
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases


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