Cost-Effectiveness of a Novel Sleep Intervention in Infancy to Prevent Overweight in Childhood

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2020 Nov;28(11):2201-2208. doi: 10.1002/oby.22989. Epub 2020 Oct 3.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine, from a health funder perspective, whether a sleep intervention, delivered in infancy, either alone or in combination with food, activity, and breastfeeding advice was cost-effective compared with usual care.

Methods: A cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted alongside the Prevention of Overweight in Infancy (POI) randomized controlled trial for outcomes at 5 years and cost-effectiveness was modeled to age 15 years using the Early Prevention of Obesity in Childhood microsimulation model. Intervention costs for the Sleep (n = 192), Combination (n = 196), and control (n = 209) groups were determined in 2018 Australian dollars. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) were determined for BMI outcomes at 5 and 15 years, with the primary outcome being quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) modeled over 15 years.

Results: The average costs of the Sleep and Combination interventions were $184 and $601 per child, respectively. The ICER for the Sleep intervention was $18,125 per QALY gained, with a 74% probability of being cost-effective at a willingness-to-pay threshold of $50,000 per QALY. The ICER for the Combination intervention was $94,667 per QALY gained with a 23% probability of being cost-effective.

Conclusions: The POI Sleep intervention, without additional advice, was a low-cost and cost-effective approach to reducing childhood obesity. Sleep modification programs offer a very promising approach to obesity prevention in children.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pediatric Obesity / economics
  • Pediatric Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy*