Objective: This study estimated the cost-effectiveness,from the Dutch health care perspective, of screening for albuminuria in the general Dutch population to prevent cardiovascular events (CVEs) with subsequent angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor treatment, using data from the Prevention of REnal and Vascular ENdstage Disease Intervention Trial (PREVEND IT).
Methods: PREVEND IT was a single-center, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial with a 2 x 2 factorial design within the larger observational Prevention of REnal and Vascular ENdstage Disease (PREVEND) study. The PREVEND IT study was conducted to assess the effects of fosinopril 20 mg and pravastatin 40 mg on CVEs in subjects with specific inclusion criteria: urinary albumin excretion (UAE) rate in the range from 15 to 300 mg/d, blood pressure <160/100 mm Hg, and plasma cholesterol level <8.0 mmol/L. Cost-effectiveness estimates for the Dutch population were expressed in euros (2002; 1 euro = US 1.01 dollars) as net costs per life-year gained (LYG) in the baseline and sensitivity (stochastic) analyses.
Results: Data were assessed for 864 subjects, with a mean (SD) follow-up of 46 (7) months. CVEs occurred in 45 (5.2%) subjects. Subjects who received fosinopril had a 40% lower incidence of CVEs than subjects in the placebo group (3.9% vs 6.5%, respectively; P = NS). The cost-effectiveness of screening for albumnuria was determined to be euro 16,700/LYG for the study population. Stochastic analysis indicated that the probability of the cost-effectiveness being below the suggested Dutch threshold of euro 20,000/LYG was 59% in the baseline analysis. The probability of cost-effectiveness below euro 20,000/LYG would increase to 91% if only subjects with UAE >50 mg/d were treated with fosinopril. Limiting the screening to subjects aged >50 years and >60 years also improved cost-effectiveness.
Conclusions: The results of our study suggest that screening the general Dutch population for albuminuria and subsequently treating those found positive with fosinopril may be cost-effective compared with no screening and adopting the Dutch health care perspective. However, confirmation from larger multicenter trials is needed.