The Cost-Effectiveness of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening in Estonia



To assess the cost-effectiveness of population-based abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening in Estonia.


A Markov cohort model was used to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of population-based AAA screening compared with no screening. A hypothetical cohort of 6000 men aged 65 was followed for 35 years. Data for disease transition probabilities and quality of life outcomes were obtained from published literature; costs were calculated based on Estonian data. Analysis followed the healthcare payer’s perspective using an annual discount rate of 5% for costs and effects. The model evaluated the number of avoidable AAA ruptures and AAA-related deaths and the differences in costs and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs).


The AAA screening would have prevented 10 AAA ruptures and 6 AAA-related deaths among the cohort of 6000 men, resulting in 23 QALYs gained (0.000378 QALYs per individual). The additional cost of the screening and treatment was €39 429 (€65.4 per individual) with the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for screening compared with no screening being €17 303 per QALY gained. Although results were sensitive to assumptions regarding health-related quality of life and the models’ time horizon, screening was found to be cost-effective with a 99% probability at a willingness-to-pay threshold of €30 000 per QALY.


Population-based AAA screening of elderly men is likely to be a cost-effective measure in reducing the AAA-related disease burden. Given the increase in the overall costs, the actual policy decisions regarding implementing an AAA screening program in Estonia are likely to be influenced by availability of resources as well.


Rainer Reile Triin Võrno Jaak Kals Pilvi Ilves Raul-Allan Kiivet

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