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Scaled-Up Drug Treatment Could Prevent Deaths

Annual cost of intervention for cardiovascular disease averages to $1 per person

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Scaling up treatment of individuals at high risk for cardiovascular disease with an evidenced-based, multidrug regimen would reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease in 23 countries by almost 18 million over a decade, at an average annual cost of only about $1 per person, according to an article published online Dec. 5 in The Lancet.

Stephen S. Lim, Ph.D., of the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a cost-benefit analysis of treating individuals at high risk for cardiovascular disease with an evidenced-based multidrug regimen (a statin, aspirin, and two antihypertensive medications) in 23 low- and middle-income countries. The researchers' analysis was limited to individuals who were already accessing the health care system.

A projected 17.9 million deaths over a 10-year period could be averted by this scaled-up treatment, 56 percent of which would be in individuals younger than 70 years. The projected 10-year cost of this intervention would be $47 billion, which corresponds to an average annual cost of $1.08 per person, ranging from $0.43 to $0.90 in low-income countries to $0.54 to $2.93 in middle-income countries.

"This intervention alone could avert almost a fifth of deaths from cardiovascular disease, which amounts to three-quarters of the global goal of an additional 2 percent yearly reduction in chronic disease death rates in these countries," the authors report.

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