Cost Effectiveness of Achieving Targets of Low-Density Lipoprotein Particle Number Versus Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Level
American Journal of Cardiology
A recent analysis of a commercially insured US population found fewer cardiovascular disease (CVD) events in high-risk patients attaining low levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), as measured by LDL particle number (LDL-P) versus low LDL cholesterol (LDL-C). Here, we investigated the cost effectiveness of LDL-lowering therapy guided by LDL-P. Patients were selected from the HealthCore Integrated Research Database and followed for 12 to 36 months. Patients who achieved LDL-P <1,000 nmol/l
... placed into the LDL-P cohort, whereas those without LDL-P tests, but who achieved LDL-C <100 mg/dl, were placed into the LDL-C cohort. CVD-related costs included all health plan paid amounts related to CVD events or lipid management. Cost effectiveness was assessed through incremental cost-effectiveness ratios, defined as difference in total costs across the cohorts divided by difference in CVD events, measured over follow-up. Each cohort included 2,094, 1,242, and 705 patients over 12-, 24-, and 36-month follow-up. Patients in the LDL-P cohort received more aggressive lipid-lowering therapy and had fewer CVD events during followup compared to patients in the LDL-C cohort. This led to greater pharmacy costs and lower medical costs over time. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratio estimates ranged from $23,131 per CVD event avoided at 12 months to $3,439 and L$4,555 at 24-and 36-month followup, suggesting a high likelihood that achieving LDL-P <1,000 nmol/l is cost effective. In conclusion, LDL-lowering therapy guided by LDL-P was demonstrated to be cost effective, with greater clinical and economic benefit seen over longer time horizons and with the increased use of generic statins.