Screening Men for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Cost-Effective

Rescreening high-risk individuals once after five years also considered a cost-effective option

MONDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- For 65-year-old men, screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm is cost-effective, and rescreening should be considered for high-risk men, according to a study published online July 5 in BMJ.

Rikke Søgaard, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, and colleagues assessed the cost effectiveness and effect on health outcomes of different screening strategies for abdominal aortic aneurysm in a hypothetical cohort of 65-year-old men from the general population.

The researchers found that, compared with not screening, screening seemed to be highly cost-effective. At a threshold of £20,000, the model estimated a 92 percent probability that some form of screening would be cost-effective. For men with an aortic diameter of 25 to 29 mm at the initial screening, rescreening once after five years would detect an additional 452 men per 100,000 initially screened. Lifetime rescreening every five years would detect 794 per 100,000 screened. Rescreening once and every five years was associated with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of £10,013 and £29,680 per quality-adjusted life-year, respectively. In view of the £20,000 threshold, the individual probability of being the most cost-effective strategy was higher for each rescreening strategy than for screening once.

"This study has policy relevance for two different scenarios. In Denmark, where no national guidance has been issued, it suggests that there is a high probability that screening will be cost-effective," the authors write. "In England and Scotland, where screening is currently being implemented, this study supports further consideration of rescreening, at least once."

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