Healthcare utilization, costs, and epidemiology of Huntington's disease in Israel

Yael Barer, Rinat Ribalov*, Ayelet Yaari, Ron Maor, Qais Arow, John Logan, Gabriel Chodick, Tanya Gurevich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Data on Huntington's disease (HD) epidemiology, treatment patterns, and economic burden in Israel are scarce. Methods: Annual prevalence and incidence of HD (ICD-9-CM 333.4) were assessed in the Israel-based Maccabi Healthcare Services (MHS) database 2016–2018. Adherence (medication possession rate [MPR], proportion of disease covered) were assessed for adult people with HD (PwHD) 2013–2018. Healthcare resources utilization (HCRU) and costs related to inpatient and outpatient visits and all medications in 2018 were assessed for PwHD, who were randomly matched to MHS members without HD (1:3) by birth-year and sex. Results: Overall, 164 patients had at least one HD diagnosis. Annual prevalence and incidence were 4.45 and 0.24/100,000, respectively. A total of 67.0% of adult patients (n = 106) were taking tetrabenazine (median MPR and proportion of disease covered, 74.3% and 30.2%, respectively), 65.1% benzodiazepines (75.8% and 32.3%), and 11.3% amantadine (79.2% and 6.0%). Over a 1-year follow-up, PwHD (n = 81) had significantly more neurologist, psychiatrist, physiotherapist, and speech therapist visits (P < 0.05 for each) and more hospitalization days (P < 0.0001) compared with matched controls (n = 243). Total healthcare and medication costs per patient (US dollars) were significantly higher for PwHD than controls ($7,343 vs. $3,625; P < 0.001). Discussion/Conclusion: PwHD have greater annual HCRU and medical costs than MHS members without HD in Israel. Among those who have taken medications, adherence was lower than 80% (both MPR and proportion of disease covered), which may translate into suboptimal symptom relief and quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100208
JournalClinical Parkinsonism and Related Disorders
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Costs
  • Economic
  • Huntington's disease
  • Medication use


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