Cost-Effectiveness and Distributional Impact of Opportunistic Screening for People at High-Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Sri Lanka: A Modelling Study

Nilmini Wijemunige*, Ravindra P. Rannan-Eliya, Jürgen Maurer, Owen O'Donnell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: While hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and high-risk of cardiovascular disease can be easily diagnosed and treated with cost-effective medicines, a large proportion of people remain undiagnosed. We assessed the potential effectiveness, cost, and distributional impact of opportunistically screening for these chronic conditions at outpatient patient departments in Sri Lanka. Methods: We used nationally representative data on biomarkers and healthcare utilization in 2019 to model the screening of people aged 40+ without preexisting CVD and without a reported diagnosis of hypertension, diabetes, or hypercholesterolemia. We modelled an intensive one month program that would screen a proportion of those making an outpatient visit to a public or private clinic and follow-up a proportion of those screened to confirm diagnoses. We also modelled a less intensive one year program. The main outcomes were the new diagnoses of any of the chronic conditions. Program costs were calculated and the socioeconomic distributions of individuals screened, new cases diagnosed, and treatments delivered were estimated. Sensitivity analyses varied the probability of screening and follow-up. Results: Using data on 2,380 survey participants who met the inclusion criteria, we estimated that the one month program would diagnose 8.2% (95% CI: 6.8, 9.6) of those with a chronic condition who would remain undiagnosed without the program. The one year program would diagnose 26.9% (95% CI: 26.5, 27.4) of the otherwise undiagnosed and would have a cost per person newly diagnosed of USD 6.82 (95% CI: 6.61, 7.03) in the public sector and USD 16.92 (95% CI: 16.37, 17.47) in the private sector. New diagnoses would be evenly distributed over the socioeconomic distribution, with public (private) clinics diagnosing a higher proportion of poorer (richer) individuals. Both programs would reduce underdiagnosis among males relative to females. Conclusions: Opportunistic screening for cardiovascular diseases at outpatient clinics in Sri Lanka could be cost-effective and equitable.

Original languageEnglish
Article number89
Number of pages12
JournalGlobal Heart
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2022

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