Cost-effectiveness of osteoporosis screening strategies for hip fracture prevention in older Chinese people: a decision tree modeling study in the Mr. OS and Ms. OS cohort in Hong Kong
Despite the high costs of hip fracture, many governments provide limited support for osteoporosis screening. We demonstrated that osteoporosis screening by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) with or without pre-screening by Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX) or calcaneal ultrasound are more cost-effective than no screening in Chinese people aged 65 or over in Hong Kong.
To examine the cost-effective potential osteoporosis screening strategies for hip fracture prevention in Hong Kong.
Decision tree models were constructed to evaluate the cost per quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) of the different osteoporosis screening strategies followed by subsequent 5-year treatment with alendronate compared to no screening (but treat if a hip fracture occurs). The multiple osteoporosis screening strategies were composed of alternative tests and initiation age groups were evaluated with a 10-year horizon, and treatment were assigned if central dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) T-score (at either the hip or spine) is − 2.5 or less. Strategies included DXA for all people and pre-screening with the Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX) at specific thresholds or by calcaneal quantitative ultrasonography (QUS) before taking DXA examination. All the model inputs were based on the Mr. OS and Ms. OS Hong Kong cohort; data are obtained from the Social Welfare Department or the published literature.
All of the screening strategies, including the universal screening with DXA and the pre-screening with FRAX or QUS before DXA, were consistently more cost-effective than no screening for people aged 65 years old or over. One-way sensitivity analysis with a more optimistic assumption on treatment adherence or inclusion of other major osteoporotic fractures did not change the results materially. Probabilistic sensitivity analyses showed a dominant role of pre-screening with FRAX followed by subsequent osteoporosis drug treatment in people aged 70 years old or over in Hong Kong.
Osteoporosis screening strategies based on DXA with or without pre-screening are more cost-effective compared to no screening for Chinese people aged 65 or over in Hong Kong.
KeywordsAging Decision tree model Osteoporosis Screening
The authors wish to thank all participants who dedicated in contributing to the study and the Chinese University of Hong Kong Jockey Club Centre for Osteoporosis Care and Control for supporting the study. The support from the Social Welfare Department in Hong Kong is also acknowledged.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health R01 grant AR049439–01A1 and the Research Grants Council Earmarked Grant CUHK4101/02 M.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
All procedures performed in the studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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