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BMC Health Serv Res. 2011 Nov 24;11:324. doi: 10.1186/1472-6963-11-324.

Economic evaluation of increasing population rates of cardiac catheterization.

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Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Foothills Medical Centre-North Tower, 9th Floor, 1403-29th Street NW, Calgary, AB T2N 2T9, Canada.



Increasing population rates of cardiac catheterization can lead to the detection of more people with high risk coronary disease and opportunity for subsequent revascularization. However, such a strategy should only be undertaken if it is cost-effective.


Based on data from a cohort of patients undergoing cardiac catheterization, and efficacy data from clinical trials, we used a Markov model that considered 1) the yield of high-risk cases as the catheterization rate increases, 2) the long-term survival, quality of life and costs for patients with high risk disease, and 3) the impact of revascularization on survival, quality of life and costs. The cost per quality-adjusted life year was calculated overall, and by indication, age, and sex subgroups.


Increasing the catheterization rate was associated with a cost per QALY of CAN$26,470. The cost per QALY was most attractive in females with Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACS) ($20,320 per QALY gained), and for ACS patients over 75 years of age ($16,538 per QALY gained). However, there is significant model uncertainty associated with the efficacy of revascularization.


A strategy of increasing cardiac catheterization rates among eligible patients is associated with a cost per QALY similar to that of other funded interventions. However, there is significant model uncertainty. A decision to increase population rates of catheterization requires consideration of the accompanying opportunity costs, and careful thought towards the most appropriate strategy.

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