Background & Aims: Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a progressive, cholestatic liver disease which greatly impacts the lives of individuals. Burden of disease due to shortened life expectancy and impaired quality of life is ill-described. The aim of this study was to assess long-term disease burden in a large population-based registry with regard to survival, clinical course, quality adjusted life years (QALYs), medical consumption and work productivity loss. Methods: All PSC patients living in a geographically defined area covering ~50% of the Netherlands were included, together with patients from the three liver transplant centres. Survival was estimated by competing risk analysis. Proportional shortfall of QALYs during disease course was measured relative to a matched reference cohort using validated questionnaires. Work productivity loss and medical consumption were evaluated over time. Results: A total of 1208 patients were included with a median follow-up of 11.2 year. Median liver transplant-free survival was 21.0 years. Proportional shortfall of QALYs increased to 48% >25 years after diagnosis. Patients had on average 12.4 hospital contact days among which 3.17 admission days per year, annual medical costs were €12 169 and mean work productivity loss was 25%. Conclusions: Our data quantify for the first time disease burden in terms of QALYs lost, clinical events, medical consumption, costs as well as work productivity loss, and show that all these are substantial and increase over time.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLiver international
Early online date2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022


  • PSC
  • QALY
  • disease burden
  • medical costs
  • survival
  • work productivity loss

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