Never smokers in Asia have a higher incidence of lung cancer than in Europe and North America. We aimed to assess the cost-effectiveness of lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) for never smokers in Japan and the United States.
We developed a state-transition model for three strategies: LDCT, chest X-ray (CXR), and no screening, using a healthcare payer perspective over a lifetime horizon. Sensitivity analyses were also performed. Main outcomes were costs, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), life expectancy life-years (LYs), incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs), and deaths from lung cancer. The willingness-to-pay level was US$100,000 per QALY gained.
LDCT yielded the greatest benefits with the lowest cost in Japan, but the ICERs of LDCT compared with CXR were US$3,001,304 per QALY gained for American men and US$2,097,969 per QALY gained for American women. Cost-effectiveness was sensitive to the incidence of lung cancer. Probabilistic sensitivity analyses demonstrated that LDCT was cost-effective 99.3-99.7% for Japanese, no screening was cost-effective 77.7% for American men, and CXR was cost-effective 93.2% for American women. Compared with CXR, LDCT has the cumulative lifetime potential for 60-year-old Japanese to save US$117 billion, increase 2,339,349 QALYs and 3,020,102 LYs, and reduce 224,749 deaths, and the potential for 60-year-old Americans to cost US$120 billion, increase 48,651 QALYs and 67,988 LYs, and reduce 2,309 deaths.
This modelling study suggests that LDCT screening for never smokers has the greatest benefits and cost savings in Japan, but is not cost-effective in the United States. Assessing the risk of lung cancer in never smokers is important for introducing population-based LDCT screening.

© 2021. The Author(s).