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Age-specific Cost Effectiveness of Using Intravenous Recombinant Tissue Plasminogen Activator for Treating Acute Ischemic Stroke
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    Am J Prev Med
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    Introduction Studies have demonstrated that intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (IV rtPA) is a cost-effective treatment for acute ischemic stroke. Age-specific cost effectiveness has not been well examined. This study estimated age-specific incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) of IV rtPA treatment versus no IV rtPA. Methods A Markov model was developed to examine the economic impact of IV rtPA over a 20-year time horizon on four age groups (18–44, 45–64, 65–80, and ≥81 years) from the U.S. healthcare sector perspective. The model used health outcomes from a national stroke registry adjusted by parameters from previous literature and current hospitalization costs in 2013 U.S. dollars. Long-term annual costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) in the years after a stroke were discounted at 3% per year. Incremental costs, incremental QALYs, and ICERs were estimated and sensitivity analyses were conducted between 2015 and 2017. Results Use of IV rtPA gained 0.55 QALYs and cost $3,941 more than no IV rtPA for stroke patients aged ≥18 years over a 20-year time horizon. IV rtPA was a dominant strategy compared to no IV rtPA for patients aged 18–44 and 45–64 years. For patients aged 65–80 years, IV rtPA gained 0.44 QALYs and cost $4,872 more than no IV rtPA (ICER=$11,132/QALY). For patients aged ≥81 years, ICER was estimated at $48,676/QALY. Conclusions IV rtPA saved costs and improved health outcomes for patients aged 18–64 years and was cost effective for those aged ≥65 years. These findings support the use of IV rtPA.
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