Background: Hypertension and associated chronic diseases impose enormous and growing health and economic burdens worldwide. The objective of this study was to investigate the cost-effectiveness (CE) of a hypertension control program in China.
Methods: We collected information on program costs and health outcomes in three community health centers over a 1-year period. The participants were 4902 people with hypertension (systolic blood pressure [SBP] ≥140 mm Hg and/or diastolic blood pressure [DBP] ≥90 mm Hg, or on hypertension medication) aged 18 years and older. The SBP and DBP changes in the populations were estimated from a random sample of 818 participants by conducting face-to-face interviews and physical examinations. We derived CE measures based on the costs and effects on health outcomes.
Findings: The total cost of implementing the intervention was Renminbi (RMB) 240 772 yuan (US$35 252), or 49 yuan (US$7.17) per participant in 2009. On average, SBP decreased from 143 to 131 mm Hg (P < .001) and DBP decreased from 84 to 78 mm Hg (P < .001), the SBP decreases ranged from 7.6 to 17.8 mm Hg and DBP decreases ranged from 3.9 to 8.3 mm Hg. CE ratios ranged from RMB 3.6 to 5.0 yuan (US$0.53-US$0.73) per person per mm Hg SBP decrease, and from RMB 6.3 to 9.7 yuan (US$0.92-US$1.42) per person per mm Hg DBP decrease.
Interpretation: Per capita costs varied widely across the communities, as did changes in SBP and DBP, but CE was similar. The findings suggest (a) a positive correlation between per capita costs and program effectiveness, (b) differences in intervention levels, and (c) differences in health status. CE results could be helpful to policy makers in making resource allocation decisions.
Keywords: China; blood pressure; community; economic evaluation; intervention.