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Money for health: the equivalent variation of cardiovascular diseases

  • Wim Groot

    (Department of Economics, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

  • Henri�tte Maassen van den Brink

    (Department of Economics, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

  • Erik Plug

    (Department of Economics, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

This paper introduces a new method to calculate the extent to which individuals are willing to trade money for improvements in their health status. An individual welfare function of income (WFI) is applied to calculate the equivalent income variation of health impairments. We believe that this approach avoids various drawbacks of alternative willingness-to-pay methods. The WFI is used to calculate the equivalent variation of cardiovascular diseases. It is found that for a 25 year old male the equivalent variation of a heart disease ranges from €114 000 to €380 000 depending on the welfare level. This is about €10 000 -€30 000 for an additional life year. The equivalent variation declines with age and is about the same for men and women. The estimates further vary by discount rate chosen. The estimates of the equivalent variation are generally higher than the money spent on most heart-related medical interventions per QALY. The cost-benefit analysis shows that for most interventions the value of the health benefits exceeds the costs. Heart transplants seem to be too costly and only beneficial if patients are young. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.867
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 13 (2004)
Issue (Month): 9 ()
Pages: 859-872

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:13:y:2004:i:9:p:859-872
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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