The Kansas University DHA Outcomes Study (KUDOS) found a significant reduction in early preterm births with a supplement of 600mg DHA per day compared to placebo. The objective of this analysis was to determine if hospital costs differed between groups. We applied a post-hoc cost analysis of the delivery hospitalization and all hospitalizations in the following year to 197 mother-infant dyads who delivered at Kansas University Hospital. Hospital cost saving of DHA supplementation amounted to $1678 per infant. Even after adjusting for the estimated cost of providing 600mg/d DHA for 26 weeks ($166.48) and a slightly higher maternal care cost ($26) in the DHA group, the net saving per dyad was $1484. Extrapolating this to the nearly 4 million US deliveries per year suggests universal supplementation with 600mg/d during the last 2 trimesters of pregnancy could save the US health care system up to USD 6 billion.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00266825.
Keywords: Docosahexaenoic acid; Hospital cost; Pregnancy; Preterm birth.
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