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J Med Econ. 2013 Aug;16(8):1007-21. doi: 10.3111/13696998.2013.809352. Epub 2013 Jun 26.

Validation of economic and health outcomes simulation model of type 2 diabetes mellitus (ECHO-T2DM).

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The Swedish Institute for Health Economics, Lund, Sweden.



This study constructed the Economic and Health Outcomes Model for type 2 diabetes mellitus (ECHO-T2DM), a long-term stochastic microsimulation model, to predict the costs and health outcomes in patients with T2DM. Naturally, the usefulness of the model depends upon its predictive accuracy. The objective of this work is to present results of a formal validation exercise of ECHO-T2DM.


The validity of ECHO-T2DM was assessed using criteria recommended by the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research/Society for Medical Decision Making (ISPOR/SMDM). Specifically, the results of a number of clinical trials were predicted and compared with observed study end-points using a scatterplot and regression approach. An F-test of the best-fitting regression was added to assess whether it differs statistically from the identity (45°) line defining perfect predictions. In addition to testing the full model using all of the validation study data, tests were also performed of microvascular, macrovascular, and survival outcomes separately. The validation tests were also performed separately by type of data (used vs not used to construct the model, economic simulations, and treatment effects).


The intercept and slope coefficients of the best-fitting regression line between the predicted outcomes and corresponding trial end-points in the main analysis were -0.0011 and 1.067, respectively, and the R(2) was 0.95. A formal F-test of no difference between the fitted line and the identity line could not be rejected (p = 0.16). The high R(2) confirms that the data points are closely (and linearly) associated with the fitted regression line. Additional analyses identified that disagreement was highest for macrovascular end-points, for which the intercept and slope coefficients were 0.0095 and 1.225, respectively. The R(2) was 0.95 and the estimated intercept and slope coefficients were 0.017 and 1.048, respectively, for mortality, and the F-test was narrowly rejected (p = 0.04). The sub-set of microvascular end-points showed some tendency to over-predict (the slope coefficient was 1.095), although concordance between predictions and observed values could not be rejected (p = 0.16).


Important study limitations include: (1) data availability limited one to tests based on end-of-study outcomes rather than time-varying outcomes during the studies analyzed; (2) complex inclusion and exclusion criteria in two studies were difficult to replicate; (3) some of the studies were older and reflect outdated treatment patterns; and (4) the authors were unable to identify published data on resource use and costs of T2DM suitable for testing the validity of the economic calculations.


Using conventional methods, ECHO-T2DM simulated the treatment, progression, and patient outcomes observed in important clinical trials with an accuracy consistent with other well-accepted models. Macrovascular outcomes were over-predicted, which is common in health-economic models of diabetes (and may be related to a general over-prediction of event rates in the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study [UKPDS] Outcomes Model). Work is underway in ECHO-T2DM to incorporate new risk equations to improve model prediction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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