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Med Decis Making. 1994 Jul-Sep;14(3):236-44.

The impact of age on the cost-effectiveness of hypertension treatment: an analysis of randomized drug trials.

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Centre for Health Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden.


The aim of this study was to investigate whether any consistent pattern exists with respect to the cost-effectiveness of hypertension treatment and age, based on the results of randomized drug trials. Data about age, entry diastolic blood pressure, and relative risks of coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke from 19 randomized trials were used to derive point estimates of the cost-effectiveness of each trial. The relationship between age and cost per life-year gained was then estimated by regression analysis, controlling for entry diastolic blood pressure. The regression analysis shows a statistically significant average decrease in the cost per life-year gained of about SEK 15,000 per year of older age for both men and women ($1 = SEK 6). Sensitivity analysis showed that the improvement in cost-effectiveness with age was stable towards various assumptions, but that the magnitude of the improvement varied greatly with the discount rate. Based on the results of randomized drug trials, it is concluded that the cost-effectiveness of hypertension treatment improves with patient age for both men and women.

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