Background: The aim of this study was to determine the cost-effectiveness of ultrasound screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) in men aged 65 years, for both the Netherlands and Norway.
Methods: A Markov model was developed to simulate life expectancy, quality-adjusted life-years, net health benefits, lifetime costs and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios for both screening and no screening for AAA. The best available evidence was retrieved from the literature and combined with primary data from the two countries separately, and analysed from a national perspective. A threshold willingness-to-pay (WTP) of €20,000 and €62,500 was used for data from the Netherlands and Norway respectively.
Results: The additional costs of the screening strategy compared with no screening were €421 (95 per cent confidence interval 33 to 806) per person in the Netherlands, and the additional life-years were 0·097 (-0·180 to 0·365), representing €4340 per life-year. For Norway, the values were €562 (59 to 1078), 0·057 (-0·135 to 0·253) life-years and €9860 per life-year respectively. In Norway the results were sensitive to a decrease in the prevalence of AAA in 65-year-old men to 1 per cent, or lower. Probabilistic sensitivity analyses indicated that AAA screening has a 70 per cent probability of being cost-effective in the Netherlands with a WTP threshold of €20,000, and 70 per cent in Norway with a threshold of €62,500.
Conclusion: Using this model, screening for AAA in 65-year-old men would be highly cost-effective in both the Netherlands and Norway.
Copyright © 2011 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.