Lifestyle interventions (i.e., diet and/or physical activity) are effective in delaying or preventing the onset of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, policymakers must know the cost-effectiveness of such interventions before implementing them at the large-scale population level. This review discusses various issues (e.g., characteristics, modeling, and long-term effectiveness) in the economic evaluation of lifestyle interventions for the primary and secondary prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The diverse nature of lifestyle interventions, i.e., type of intervention, means of provision, target groups, setting, and methodology, are the main obstacles to comparing evaluation results. However, most lifestyle interventions are among the intervention options usually regarded as cost-effective. Diabetes prevention programs, such as interventions starting with targeted or universal screening, childhood obesity prevention, and community-based interventions, have reported favorable cost-effectiveness ratios.
Keywords: Markov model; cardiovascular disease; cost-effectiveness; diabetes; economic evaluation; lifestyle interventions; long-term effectiveness; primary prevention; secondary prevention.