Cost effectiveness of mammography screening for Chinese women

Authors

  • Irene O. L. Wong MMedSc, MPhil,

    1. Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Karen M. Kuntz ScD,

    1. Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    2. Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Benjamin J. Cowling PhD,

    1. Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Cindy L. K. Lam MD,

    1. Family Medicine Unit, Department of Medicine, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Gabriel M. Leung MD, MPH

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
    • Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, the University of Hong Kong, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Fax: (011) 852 2855-9528.

Errata

This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Erratum Volume 116, Issue 2, 540, Article first published online: 20 November 2009

Abstract

BACKGROUND.

Although the cost effectiveness of screening mammography in most western developed populations has been accepted, it may not apply to Chinese women, who have a much lower breast cancer incidence. The authors estimated the cost effectiveness of biennial mammography in Hong Kong Chinese women to inform evidence-based screening policies.

METHODS.

For the current study, a state-transition Markov model was developed to simulate mammography screening, breast cancer diagnosis, and treatment in a hypothetical cohort of Chinese women. The benefit of mammography was modeled by assuming a stage shift, in which cancers in screened women were more likely to be diagnosed at an earlier disease stage. The authors compared costs, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) saved, and life years saved (LYS) for 5 screening strategies.

RESULTS.

Biennial screening resulted in a gain in life expectancy ranging from 4.3 days to 9.4 days compared with no screening at an incremental cost of from US$1166 to US$2425 per woman. The least costly, nondominated screening option was screening from ages 40 years to 69 years, with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of US$61,600 per QALY saved or US$64,400 per LYS compared with no screening. In probabilistic sensitivity analyses, the probability of the ICER being below a threshold of US$50,000 per QALY (LYS) was 15.3% (14.6%).

CONCLUSIONS.

The current results suggested that mammography for Hong Kong Chinese women currently may not be cost effective based on the arbitrary threshold of US$50,000 per QALY. However, clinicians must remain vigilant and periodically should revisit the question of population screening: Disease rates in China have been increasing because of westernization and socioeconomic development. Cancer 2007. © 2007 American Cancer Society.

Ancillary