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BMJ. May 18, 1996; 312(7041): 1269–1273.
PMCID: PMC2351101

Costs and cost effectiveness of cardiovascular screening and intervention: the British family heart study.


OBJECTIVE--To measure costs and cost effectiveness of the British family heart study cardiovascular screening and intervention programme. DESIGN--Cost effectiveness analysis of randomised controlled trial. Clinical and resource use data taken from trial and unit cost data from external estimates. SETTING--13 general practices across Britain. SUBJECTS--4185 men aged 40-59 and their 2827 partners. INTERVENTION--Nurse led programme using a family centered approach, with follow up according to degree of risk. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Cost of the programme it self; overall short term cost to NHS; cost per 1% reduction in coronary risk at one year. RESULTS--Estimated cost of putting the programme into practice for one year was 63 pounds per person (95% confidence interval 60 pounds to 65 pounds). The overall short term cost to the health service was 77 pounds per man (29 pounds to 124 pounds) but only 13 pounds per woman (-48 pounds to 74 pounds), owing to differences in utilisation of other health service resources. The cost per 1% reduction in risk was 5.08 pounds per man (5.92 pounds including broader health service costs) and 5.78 pounds per woman (1.28 pounds taking into account wider health service savings). CONCLUSIONS--The direct cost of the programme to a four partner practice of 7500 patients would be approximately 58,000 pounds. Annually, 8300 pounds would currently be paid to a practice of this size working to the maximum target on the health promotion bands, plus any additional reimbursement of practice staff salaries for which the practice qualified. The broader short term costs to the NHS may augment these costs for men but offset them considerably for women.

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Selected References

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  • Wonderling D, Langham S, Buxton M, Normand C, McDermott C. What can be concluded from the Oxcheck and British family heart studies: commentary on cost effectiveness analyses. BMJ. 1996 May 18;312(7041):1274–1278. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
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