Cost-Effectiveness of Pediatric Universal Screening for Familial Hypercholesterolemia in Argentina



Our study aimed to evaluate the expected cost-effectiveness of pediatric universal screening for the early diagnosis of familial hypercholesterolemia in Argentina using a probabilistic model.


Two different healthcare technologies were compared: (1) Universal screening of hypercholesterolemia at 6 years of age and (2) previous diagnostic situation (comparator). The perspective of the public Argentine healthcare system funded by the National Ministry of Health was used, considering only direct costs. Effectiveness was evaluated in terms of the number of life-years gained (LYG) and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) obtained by identifying familial hypercholesterolemia through each of the screening strategies. Only direct costs of screening and treatment of each strategy were evaluated. The time horizon was extended to 60 years. Future avoided costs of prevented coronary events were also included. Cost-effectiveness was measured in terms of the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) per LYG and QALYs. Different scenarios were evaluated: (1) only index case, (2) index case and first-degree relatives, and (3) index case and first-degree relatives measuring QALYs. Sensitivity studies were conducted.


Each identified child complying with follow-up visits and treatment gains 8.14 life-years. The ICER values obtained were 1465.35 USD/LYG and 1726.50 USD/LYG when applying a discount rate of 5%. The ICER was 10%-17% of the gross domestic product per capita in Argentina (mean 2010-2019: 12 446 USD) and did not exceed the minimum annual retirement income.


Pediatric universal screening for familial hypercholesterolemia could be considered a cost-effective health technology in Argentina.


María B. Araujo María Clara Zerbino

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