• Markov model;
  • health economics;
  • cervical cancer;
  • organized screening


Because cost-effectiveness of different cervical cytology screening strategies with and without human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing is unclear, we used a Markov model to estimate life expectancy and health care cost per woman during the remaining lifetime for 4 screening strategies: (i) cervical cytology screening at age 32, 35, 38, 41, 44, 47, 50, 55 and 60, (ii) same strategy with addition of testing for HPV DNA persistence at age 32, (iii) screening with combined cytology and testing for HPV DNA persistence at age 32, 41 and 50, iv) no screening. Input data were derived from population-based screening registries, health-service costs and from a population-based HPV screening trial. Impact of parameter uncertainty was addressed using probabilistic multivariate sensitivity analysis. Cytology screening between 32 and 60 years of age in 3–5 year intervals increased life expectancy and life-time costs were reduced from 533 to 248 US Dollars per woman compared to no screening. Addition of HPV DNA testing, at age 32 increased costs from 248 to 284 US Dollars without benefit on life expectancy. Screening with both cytology and HPV DNA testing, at ages 32, 41 and 50 reduced costs from 248 to 210 US Dollars with slightly increased life expectancy. In conclusion, population-based, organized cervical cytology screening between ages 32 to 60 is highly cost-efficient for cervical cancer prevention. If screening intervals are increased to at least 9 years, combined cytology and HPV DNA screening appeared to be still more effective and less costly. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.