Strategies for primary prevention of coronary heart disease based on risk stratification by the ACC/AHA lipid guidelines, ATP III guidelines, coronary calcium scoring, and c-reactive protein, and a global treat-all strategy: A comparative-effectiveness modeling study

Benjamin Z. Galper, Y. Claire Wang, Andrew J. Einstein, Alberico Catapano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background Several approaches have been proposed for risk-stratification and primary prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD), but their comparative and cost-effectiveness is unknown. Methods We constructed a state-transition microsimulation model to compare multiple approaches to the primary prevention of CHD in a simulated cohort of men aged 45-75 and women 55-75. Risk-stratification strategies included the 2013 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) guidelines on the treatment of blood cholesterol, the Adult Treatment Panel (ATP) III guidelines, and approaches based on coronary artery calcium (CAC) scoring and C-reactive protein (CRP). Additionally we assessed a treat-all strategy in which all individuals were prescribed either moderate-dose or high-dose statins and all males received low-dose aspirin. Outcome measures included CHD events, costs, medication-related side effects, radiation-attributable cancers, and quality-adjusted-life-years (QALYs) over a 30-year timeframe. Results Treat-all with high-dose statins dominated all other strategies for both men and women, gaining 15.7 million QALYs, preventing 7.3 million myocardial infarctions, and saving over $238 billion, compared to the status quo, far outweighing its associated adverse events including bleeding, hepatitis, myopathy, and new-onset diabetes. ACC/AHA guidelines were more cost-effective than ATP III guidelines for both men and women despite placing 8.7 million more people on statins. For women at low CHD risk, treat-all with high-dose statins was more likely to cause a statin-related adverse event than to prevent a CHD event. Conclusions Despite leading to a greater proportion of the population placed on statin therapy, the ACC/AHA guidelines are more cost-effective than ATP III. Even so, at generic prices, treating all men and women with statins and all men with low-dose aspirin appears to be more cost-effective than all risk-stratification approaches for the primary prevention of CHD. Especially for low-CHD risk women, decisions on the appropriate primary prevention strategy should be based on shared decision making between patients and healthcare providers.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere138092
JournalPLoS One
Volume10
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 30 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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