Cost-benefit analysis of prenatal diagnosis for Down syndrome using the British or the American approach.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To compare the cost and benefits of prenatal diagnosis for Down syndrome using the British and American approaches. METHODS This cost-benefit analysis was based on a decision-analytic approach. The British strategy included screening by a first-trimester ultrasound at 10-14 weeks for nuchal translucency thickness, and the American strategy included only second-trimester screening by using maternal age and maternal serum screening. The key probabilities of the decision-tree analysis and all cost estimates were based on American standards. The best scenario of the British strategy assumed ultrasound nuchal translucency thickness sensitivity (for detecting Down syndrome) of 80% and a false-positive rate of 5% and the worst scenario assumed a sensitivity of 50% and a false-positive rate of 10%. The results were expressed in annual costs based on approximately 4 million births per year in the United States. RESULTS As compared with do-nothing, the American strategy was found to allow savings of approximately $96 million per year and the best scenario for the British strategy was savings of approximately $5 million per year. The financial costs of the British and American strategies would be comparable only if the first-trimester ultrasound had a sensitivity of 80% and a false-positive rate of 5% in detecting Down syndrome. CONCLUSION The British strategy does not appear to be economically beneficial in the United States even under the most ideal scenarios of ultrasound accuracy.

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@article{Vintzileos2000CostbenefitAO, title={Cost-benefit analysis of prenatal diagnosis for Down syndrome using the British or the American approach.}, author={Anthony M. Vintzileos and Cande V Ananth and John C. Smulian and Debra L Day-Salvatore and Tryfon J Beazoglou and Robert A. Knuppel}, journal={Obstetrics and gynecology}, year={2000}, volume={95 4}, pages={577-83} }