A systematic review of economic evaluations for interventions of cardiovascular diseases

Zhen Zhang, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Background. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) exhibits the most striking public health significance due to its high prevalence and mortality as well as huge economic burdens all over the world, especially in industrialized countries. Major risk factors of CVDs have been the targets of population-wide prevention in the United States. Economic evaluations provide structured information in regard to the efficiency of resource utilization which can inform decisions of resource allocation. The main purpose of this review is to investigate the pattern of study design of economic evaluations for interventions of CVDs. Methods. Primary journal articles published during 2003-2008 were systematically retrieved via relevant keywords from Medline, NHS Economic Evaluation Database (NHS EED) and EBSCO Academic Search Complete. Only full economic evaluations for narrowly defined CVD interventions were included for this review. The methodological data of interest were extracted from the eligible articles and reorganized in Microsoft Access database. Chi-square tests in SPSS were used to analyze the associations between pairs of categorical data. Results. One hundred and twenty eligible articles were reviewed after two steps of literature selection with explicit inclusion and exclusion criteria. Descriptive statistics were reported regarding the evaluated interventions, outcome measures, unit costing and cost reports. The chi-square test of the association between prevention level of intervention and category of time horizon showed no statistical significance. The chi-square test showed that sponsor type was significantly associated with whether new or standard intervention being concluded as more cost effective. Conclusions. Tertiary prevention and medication interventions are the major interests for economic evaluators. The majority of the evaluations were claimed from either a provider’s or a payer’s perspective. Almost all evaluations adopted gross costing strategy for unit cost data rather than micro costing. EQ-5D is the most commonly used instrument for subjective outcome measurement. More than half of the evaluations used decision analytic modeling techniques. The lack of consistency in study design standards in published evaluations appears in several aspects. Prevention level of intervention is not likely to be a factor for evaluators to decide whether to design an evaluation in a lifetime horizon or not. Published evaluations sponsored by industry are more likely to conclude that new intervention is more cost effective than standard intervention.

Subject Area

Economics|Public health|Health care management

Recommended Citation

Zhang, Zhen, "A systematic review of economic evaluations for interventions of cardiovascular diseases" (2009). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1462479.