CHD prevention may improve productivity, GDP
Prevention of CHD may not only prolong life-years, but it may also improve productivity, leading to improvement in gross domestic product, researchers reported.
According to findings published in the European Heart Journal, prevention of all new CHD cases in Australia during the next 10 years could avert up to 14,202 premature deaths and save up to 21.8 billion Australian dollars ($14.8 billion).
“According to the National Heart Foundation of Australia, an estimated 80% of CHD cases in Australia are preventable, mainly due to the highly modifiable risk factors associated with the disease,” Feby Savira, PhD candidate in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University in Melbourne, and colleagues wrote. “The present study highlights the potential economic benefits from prevention of CHD. Therefore, AU$17.4 billion could be spent as a break-even investment to address the potentially preventable 80% of future cases of CHD, or AU$2.2 billion to conservatively prevent 10% of future cases in Australia over the next 10 years.”
For this analysis, investigators created a dynamic life table model for the total Australian working-age population (15 to 69 years) over 10 years (2020-2029) and stratified the cohort by CHD status. Productivity-adjusted life-year was given financial value in terms of GDP per equivalent full-time worker. The primary outcomes were the estimated number of years lived, productivity-adjusted life-years and economic burden in terms of GDP per productivity-adjusted life-year.
In 2020, the total estimated number of Australians of working age with CHD was 309,323, which is predicted in increase by 11% during the next 10 years.
The researchers estimated that should prevention strategies for CHD successfully avert all new cases from 2020 to 2029, approximately 14,202 lives could be saved, translating to about 8,228 potential life-years (0.004 years per person with CHD).
Productivity years saved
Moreover, total estimated productivity-adjusted life-years was 1,145,915 years among individuals with CHD and 82,033,268 years in those without, accruing over AU$17 trillion ($11.5 trillion) in GDP from 2020 to 2029.
The researchers also wrote that prevention of all new CHD for the next 10 years could result in up to 104,206 productivity-adjusted life-years gained, amounting to a potential saving of AU$21.8 billion ($14.8 billion) or more than AU$6,500 ($4,400) per person with CHD.
Researchers estimated that if CHD prevention strategies could help avoid at least 10% of new cases from 2020 to 2029, approximately 1,405 premature deaths could be avoided and 815 years of life and 10,292 productivity-adjusted life-years could be saved, amounting to AU$2.2 billion in GDP saved.
Economic investment vs. returns
“Interventions that target individuals (eg, exercise programs, smoking cessation programs, blood pressure control and cholesterol reduction), primary care services (eg, increasing the uptake of timely cardiac rehabilitation) and the general population (eg, banning industrial fats, modification of the built environment to facilitate active transport and exercise) are cost-effective for CHD prevention and a much cheaper alternative when considering the time and costs needed to develop new therapies,” the researchers wrote. “Thus, the suggested cost of preventive investment based our model likely overestimates the actual costs needed and presents a potential for economic return. Indeed, the National Heart Foundation of Australia reported for every AU$1 invested for heart disease, the economic return amounts to AU$9.8.”