The effect of risk factor reductions between 1981 and 1990 on coronary heart disease incidence, prevalence mortality and cost

The effect of risk factor reductions between 1981 and 1990 on coronary heart disease incidence, prevalence mortality and cost
Posted on February 1, 2010
Authors: Goldman L, Phillips KA, Coxson P, Goldman PA, Williams L, Hunink M, Weinstein MC
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2001 38(4): 1012-1017  PubmedID: 171245000000   ISSN/ISBN: 0735-1097
OBJECTIVES We sought to estimate the impact and cost-effectiveness of risk factor reductions between 1981 and 1990. BACKGROUND Coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality rates have declined dramatically, partly as a result of reductions in CHD risk factors. METHODS We used the CHD Policy Model, a validated computer-simulation model, to estimate the effects of actual investments made to change coronary risk factors between 1981 and 1990, as well as the impact of these changes on the incidence, prevalence, mortality and costs of CHD during this period and projected to 2015. RESULTS Observed changes in risk factors between 1981 and 1990 resulted in a reduction of CHD deaths by similar to 430,000 and overall deaths by similar to 740,000, with an estimated cost-effectiveness of about $44,000 per year of life saved during this period, based on the estimated actual costs of the interventions used. However, because much of the benefit of risk factor reductions is delayed, the estimated reductions for the 35-year period of 1981 to 2015 were 3.6 million CHD deaths and 1.2 million non-CHD deaths, at a cost of only about $5,400 per year of life saved. CONCLUSIONS Aggregate efforts to reduce risk factors between 1981 and 1990 have led to substantial reductions in CHD and should be well worth the cost, largely because of population-wide changes in life-style and habits. Some interventions are much better investments than others, and attention to such issues could lead to better use of resources and better outcomes in the future. (C) 2001 by the American College of Cardiology.