Publication Abstract

Authors: Leivo T, Sintonen H, Tuominen R, Hakama M, Pukkala E, Heinonen OP

Title: The cost-effectiveness of nationwide breast carcinoma screening in Finland, 1987-1992.

Journal: Cancer 86(4):638-46

Date: 1999 Aug 15

Abstract: BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness, from a societal perspective, of the Finnish nationwide breast carcinoma screening program. METHODS: The effects were measured in life-years saved from 1987 to 2020, using data from the nationwide program to the end of 1992. A total of 90,000 women ages 50-59 were invited for screening during the years 1987-89. The total number of participants screened was 76,000. The screening interval was 24 months, with follow-up to the end of 1992. From the beginning of 1993, the estimation model used parameters based on published studies and national cancer statistics. Data on health care and non-health care costs and time costs were obtained from internal accounts of screening units, published studies, national statistics, health market sources, and a questionnaire completed by a sample of 1400 screening attendees. The discount rate, the annual rate of time preference over future costs and life-years saved, was 3%. The main outcome measure was the cost per life-year saved. RESULTS: The estimated number of life-years of life saved was 578, of which 8% occurred 1987-1992. The estimated life-years saved per 1000 screenings was 3.2. The total costs were $11 million in U.S. dollars, i.e., $14.3 million per 100,000 participants. CONCLUSIONS: The cost of breast carcinoma mammographic screening per life-year saved was $18,955 in the base case, ranging from $15,502 to $40,308 according to the different models used in analysis.