Background: This study estimated the long-term changes of opioid agonist treatment (OAT) in quality of life (QOL) and quantified the quality-adjusted life years (QALY) from the loss of quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE) in heroin users. Methods: A total of 1283 heroin users stratified by OAT were linked to the National Mortality Registry for 8 years (2006–2014) to obtain survival functions, which were extrapolated to lifetime by applying a rolling extrapolation algorithm to survival ratio between the sub-cohorts and age- and sex-matched referents simulated from vital statistics of Taiwan. We performed cross-sectional measurement of EQ-5D on 349 participants, including those with a valid state of OAT or non-OAT plus newly recruited consecutive patients, during 2015–2017 for utility values, while the QOL of referents were abstracted from the 2009 National Health Interview Survey. The QALE was calculated by summing the products of the mean QOL and survival rate throughout life. The QALE difference between the cohort and corresponding referents was the loss-of-QALE. Results: QOL of the OAT group was significantly better than that of the non-OAT group in every domain of the EQ-5D, which was quantified to be 0.23 for utility after controlling for other variables. After extrapolation to 70 years, the estimated QALE and loss-of-QALE were 17.8 and 18.2 QALY for OAT subjects, respectively, while those of the non-OAT group were 9.2 and 27.9 QALY. Conclusions: Receiving OAT could reduce QALE lost by 9.7 QALYs compared with non-OAT after accounting for QOL differences along time and different age and sex distributions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Pharmacology (medical)