This review evaluates the cost-effectiveness of using coronary artery calcium (CAC) to guide long-term statin therapy compared with treating all patients eligible for statins according to 2013 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association cholesterol management guidelines for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. The authors used a microsimulation model to compare costs and effectiveness from a societal perspective over a lifetime horizon. Both strategies resulted in similar costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). CAC resulted in increased costs (+$81) and near-equal QALY (+0.01) for an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $8,100/QALY compared with the treat-all strategy. For 10,000 patients, the treat-all strategy would theoretically avert 21 atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease events, but would add 47,294 person-years of statins. With CAC costs <$100, and higher cost and/or disutility associated with statin therapy, CAC strategy was favored. These findings suggest the economic value of both approaches were similar. Clinicians should account for individual preferences in context of shared decision making when choosing the most appropriate strategy to guide statin decisions.
Keywords: CAC; atherosclerosis; cholesterol; cost-effectiveness analysis; risk assessment; statins.
Copyright © 2017 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.