Resource implications and health benefits of primary prevention strategies for cardiovascular disease in people aged 30 to 74: mathematical modelling study

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Objective To develop a model to determine the resource costs and health benefits of implementing guidelines for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in primary care, Design Modelling of data from six strategies for prevention of cardiovascular disease. Strategies incorporated two ways of identifying patients for assessment: traditional (assessment of all adults) and novel (preselection of patients For assessment using a prior estimate of their risk of cardiovascular disease). Three treatment strategies were modelled in conjunction with each identification strategy. Setting England. Subjects Patients aged 30 to 74 eligible for primary prevention strategies for cardiovascular disease who were selected from a hypothetical population of 2000. Main outcome measures Resource costs of assessing eligible adults, providing treatment and follow up and number of cardiovascular events this should prevent. Results Novel strategies prevented more cardiovascular disease, at lower cost, than traditional strategies. Some treatment strategies prevent more cardiovascular disease with fewer resources than others. The findings were robust across a range of different assumptions about workload. Conclusion Preselecting patients for assessment makes better use of staff time than assessing all adults. Treating many patients with low cost drugs is more efficient than prescribing a few patients intensive antihypertensives and statins. Authors of guidelines should model workload implications and health benefits of following their recommendations.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-199
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Medical Journal
Issue number7357
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2002