, Volume 36, Issue 11, pp 1355–1365 | Cite as

Medical Care Costs Associated with Genital Warts for Commercially Insured US Patients

  • Kristina R. Dahlstrom
  • Shuangshuang Fu
  • Wenyaw Chan
  • Zeena Shelal
  • Lois M. Ramondetta
  • David R. LairsonEmail author
Original Research Article



Genital warts are caused by infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) and are associated with significant morbidity. Primary prevention of genital warts is possible through HPV vaccination, but vaccination rates remain low in the USA. When deciding to implement HPV vaccination programs, public health officials and policy makers rely on cost-effectiveness studies that accurately reflect costs associated with morbidity and mortality. However, previous information on the cost of treating genital warts was outdated.


We estimated the mean direct medical care costs associated with genital warts in the USA.


This was a retrospective case–control study of patients diagnosed with genital warts and matched controls. We used commercial healthcare claims data from 2011 through 2014 to estimate total 1- and 2-year costs from date of diagnosis. We used a generalized linear model to identify factors associated with monthly costs.


We identified 34,686 eligible cases of genital warts during the period 2011–2014. The first 2-year mean direct medical cost differences between cases and controls were US$6737 for the USA. Costs were significantly higher in the first 3 months following diagnosis and were higher among older individuals, women, those with co-morbidities or psychiatric illnesses, and those located in the south and southwest USA.


The mean direct cost of treating genital warts is approximately US$6700 in the first 2 years after diagnosis in the USA. These data can assist policy makers in decisions with respect to allocation of resources to implement HPV vaccine programs.



Editorial assistance was provided by Sunita Patterson of MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Department of Scientific Publications.

Author Contributions

Study concept and design: Lairson and Wen; data analysis: Lairson, Wen, and Fu; all authors participated in the interpretation of data and drafting, critical review, and final approval of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


This study was supported by generous philanthropic contributions, including a contribution from the Lyda Hill Foundation to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Moon Shots Program, and was accomplished within the Oropharynx Program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and funded in part through the Stiefel Oropharyngeal Research Fund.

Conflict of Interest

Kristina R. Dahlstrom, Shuangshuang Fu, Wenyaw Chan, Zeena Shelal, Lois M. Ramondetta, and David R. Lairson have no conflict of interests to disclose.

Ethical Approval

For this type of study formal consent is not required.

Data Availability Statement

The MarketScan claims data are available from Truven Health Analytics, now part of IBM Watson Health, with access fees subject to the level of research funding. Contact Dr Lairson for software code requests.

Supplementary material

40273_2018_691_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (295 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 294 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristina R. Dahlstrom
    • 1
  • Shuangshuang Fu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wenyaw Chan
    • 3
  • Zeena Shelal
    • 4
  • Lois M. Ramondetta
    • 4
  • David R. Lairson
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Division of SurgeryThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics & Environmental Sciences, School of Public HealthThe University of Texas Health Science Center at HoustonHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biostatistics, School of Public HealthThe University of Texas Health Science Center at HoustonHoustonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive MedicineThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  5. 5.Department of Management, Policy, and Community Health, School of Public HealthThe University of Texas Health Science Center at HoustonHoustonUSA

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