Clinical and economic consequences of statin treatment guidelines supplemented by targeted coronary artery calcium (CAC) assessment have not been evaluated in African American individuals, who are at increased risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and less likely than non-African American individuals to receive statin therapy.
To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the 2013 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) guideline without a recommendation for CAC assessment vs the 2018 ACC/AHA guideline recommendation for use of a non-0 CAC score measured on one occasion to target generic-formulation, moderate-intensity statin treatment in African American individuals at risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
A microsimulation model was designed to estimate life expectancy, quality of life, costs, and health outcomes over a lifetime horizon. African American-specific data from 472 participants in the Jackson Heart Study (JHS) at intermediate risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and other US population-specific data on individuals from published sources were used. Data analysis was conducted from November 11, 2018, to November 1, 2019.
Lifetime costs and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), discounted at 3% annually.
In a model-based economic evaluation informed in part by follow-up data, the analysis was focused on 472 individuals in the JHS at intermediate risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease; mean (SD) age was 63 (6.7) years. The sample included 243 women (51.5%) and 229 men (48.5%). Of these, 178 of 304 participants (58.6%) who underwent CAC assessment had a non-0 CAC score. In the base-case scenario, implementation of 2013 ACC/AHA guidelines without CAC assessment provided a greater quality-adjusted life expectancy (0.0027 QALY) at a higher cost ($428.97) compared with the 2018 ACC/AHA guideline strategy with CAC assessment, yielding an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $158 325/QALY, which is considered to represent low-value care by the ACC/AHA definition. The 2018 ACC/AHA guideline strategy with CAC assessment provided greater quality-adjusted life expectancy at a lower cost compared with the 2013 ACC/AHA guidelines without CAC assessment when there was a strong patient preference to avoid use of daily medication therapy. In probability sensitivity analyses, the 2018 ACC/AHA guideline strategy with CAC assessment was cost-effective compared with the 2013 ACC/AHA guidelines without CAC assessment in 76% of simulations at a willingness-to-pay value of $100 000/QALY when there was a preference to lose 2 weeks of perfect health to avoid 1 decade of daily therapy.
A CAC assessment-guided strategy for statin therapy appears to be cost-effective compared with initiating statin therapy in all African American individuals at intermediate risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and may provide greater quality-adjusted life expectancy at a lower cost than a non-CAC assessment-guided strategy when there is a strong patient preference to avoid the need for daily medication. Coronary artery calcium testing may play a role in shared decision-making regarding statin use.