Health care resource utilization in the management of patients with Arginase 1 Deficiency in the US: a retrospective, observational, claims database study

Aseel Bin Sawad, John Jackimiec, Mark Bechter, Michael Hull, Jason Yeaw, Yi Wang, George A. Diaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Arginase 1 Deficiency (ARG1-D) is an inherited metabolic disease that leads to significant morbidity. Aims: Despite the recognized burden of disease, information on health care resource utilization (HCRU) among patients with ARG1-D is lacking. We, therefore, sought to evaluate HCRU in ARG1-D relative to non-ARG1-D cohort. Materials and methods: Patients with ≥2 ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes for ARG1-D were identified (first diagnosis code = index date) using professional fee claims linked with prescription claims. Patients with ARG1-D were matched 1:1 to a comparator cohort of patients with other medical conditions. Matching variables included age, sex, index year, payer type (Medicare, Medicaid, third party) and geographic region. Results: A total of 77 patients met the inclusion criteria for the ARG1-D cohort, with a median age of 15 years, 52% <18 years, and 52% male. Several concurrent diagnoses were recorded at a higher frequency in the ARG1-D cohort versus the matched comparator (spasticity 7 times higher; developmental delay ∼2 times higher; intellectual disability 5 times higher; and seizures 8 times higher). Emergency room visits occurred twice as often, laboratory tests were performed 1.5 times more often, hospitalization was required 3 times more often, and mean length of stay was longer for patients with ARG1-D than the comparator cohort (2.4 days vs. 0.3 days). Limitations: A relatively short study period while the burden of ARG1-D increases over a lifetime due to disease progression. Conclusions: Patients with ARG1-D had significantly greater HCRU compared with those without the disease; they presented with a more extensive comorbidity profile, accessed the health care system more frequently, required more intense monitoring and management, and had more frequent and longer hospitalizations relative to the comparator group. These findings demonstrate a high health burden in ARG1-D that is not mitigated by standard-of-care measures and emphasize the need for improved treatment options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)848-856
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Medical Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • ARG1-D
  • Arginase 1 Deficiency
  • I
  • I1
  • I10
  • I19
  • arginine
  • argininemia
  • burden of illness
  • health care resource utilization
  • hyperargininemia
  • rare disease
  • urea cycle disorder


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