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Cost-Effectiveness of Extended and One-Time Screening Versus No Screening for Non-Valvular Atrial Fibrillation in the USA


  • Mustafa Oguz


  • Tereza Lanitis


  • Xiaoyan Li

    (Bristol-Myers Squibb)

  • Gail Wygant

    (Bristol-Myers Squibb)

  • Daniel E. Singer

    (Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School)

  • Keith Friend

    (Bristol-Myers Squibb)

  • Patrick Hlavacek


  • Andreas Nikolaou


  • Soeren Mattke

    (University of Southern California)


Background There is limited evidence on the clinical and cost benefits of screening for atrial fibrillation (AF) with electrocardiogram (ECG) in asymptomatic adults. Methods We adapted a previously published Markov model to evaluate the clinical and economic impact of one-time screening for non-valvular AF (NVAF) with a single 12-lead ECG and a 14-day extended screening with a hand-held ECG device (Zenicor single-lead ECG, Z14) compared with no screening. Clinical events considered included ischemic stroke, systemic embolism, major bleeds, myocardial infarction, and death. Epidemiology and effectiveness data for extended screening were from the STROKESTOP study. Risks of clinical events in NVAF patients were derived from ARISTOTLE. Analyses were conducted from the perspective of a third-party payer, considering a population with undiagnosed NVAF, aged 75 years in the USA. Costs and utilities were discounted at a 3% annual rate. Parameter uncertainty was formally considered via deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses (DSA and PSA). Structural uncertainty was assessed via scenario analyses. Results In a hypothetical cohort of 10,000 patients followed over their lifetimes, the number of additional AF diagnoses was 54 with 12-lead ECG and 255 with Z14 compared with no screening. Both screening strategies led to better health outcomes (ischemic strokes avoided: ECG 12-lead, 9.8 and Z14, 42.2; quality-adjusted life-years gained: ECG 12-lead, 31 and Z14, 131). Extended screening and one-time screening were cost effective compared with no screening at a willingness-to-pay (WTP) threshold of $100,000 per QALY gained ($58,728/QALY with ECG 12-lead and $47,949/QALY with Z14 in 2016 US dollars). ICERs remained below $100,000 per QALY in all DSA, most PSA runs, and in all scenario analyses except for a scenario assuming low anticoagulation persistence. Conclusions Our analysis suggests that, screening the general population at age 75 years for NVAF is cost effective at a WTP threshold of $100,000. Both extended screening and one-time screening for NVAF are expected to provide health benefits at an acceptable cost.

Suggested Citation

  • Mustafa Oguz & Tereza Lanitis & Xiaoyan Li & Gail Wygant & Daniel E. Singer & Keith Friend & Patrick Hlavacek & Andreas Nikolaou & Soeren Mattke, 2020. "Cost-Effectiveness of Extended and One-Time Screening Versus No Screening for Non-Valvular Atrial Fibrillation in the USA," Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 533-545, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:aphecp:v:18:y:2020:i:4:d:10.1007_s40258-019-00542-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s40258-019-00542-y

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    1. Chris Sampson’s journal round-up for 27th July 2020
      by Chris Sampson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2020-07-27 11:00:01

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