Modeled economic evaluation of alternative strategies to reduce sudden cardiac death among children treated for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Peter Denchev, Jonathan R. Kaltman, Michael Schoenbaum, Benedetto Vitiello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background-:Stimulants are widely used to treat children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and may increase the risk for sudden cardiac death (SCD). We examined the cost-effectiveness of pretreatment screening with ECG for reducing SCD risk in children diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder who are candidates for stimulant medication. METHOD AND RESULTS-: We constructed a state-transition Markov model with 10 annual cycles spanning 7 to 17 years of age. Taking a societal perspective, we compared the cost-effectiveness of 3 screening strategies: (1) performing a history and physical examination with cardiology referral if abnormal (current standard of care); (2) performing a history and physical examination plus ECG after negative history and physical examination, with cardiology referral if either is abnormal; and (3) performing a history and physical examination plus ECG, with cardiology referral only if ECG is abnormal. Children identified with SCD-associated cardiac abnormalities would be restricted from stimulants and from playing competitive sports. The expected incremental cost-effectiveness over strategy 1 was $39 300 and $27 200 per quality-adjusted life-year for strategies 2 and 3, respectively. Monte Carlo simulation found that the chance of incremental cost-effectiveness was 55% for strategy 2 and 71% for strategy 3 (willingness to pay ≤$50 000 per quality-adjusted life-year). Both strategies 2 and 3 would avert 13 SCDs per 400 000 children seeking stimulant treatment for ADHD, for a cost of $1.6 million per life for strategy 2 and $1.2 million per life for strategy 3. Conclusions-: Relative to current practice, adding ECG screening to history and physical examination pretreatment screening for children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder has borderline cost-effectiveness for preventing SCD. Relative cost-effectiveness may be improved by basing cardiology referral on ECG alone. Benefits of ECG screening arise primarily by restricting children identified with SCD risk from competitive sports.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1329-1337
Number of pages9
JournalCirculation
Volume121
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010

Keywords

  • Death, sudden
  • Drugs
  • Electrocardiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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