Cost-effectiveness analysis of long-term moderate exercise training in chronic heart failure


      The purpose of this study is to perform a cost-effectiveness analysis of long-term moderate exercise training (ET) in patients with stable chronic heart failure. In particular, the study focuses on the survival analysis and cost savings from the reduction in the hospitalization rate in the exercise group. In the past 10 years, ET has been shown to be beneficial for patients with stable class II and III heart failure in many randomized clinical trials. However, the cost-effectiveness of a long-term ET program has not been addressed for outcomes related to morbidity/mortality end points or health care utilization. We examined the cost-effectiveness of a 14-month long-term training in patients with stable chronic heart failure. The estimated increment cost for the training group, $3,227/patient, was calculated by subtracting the averted hospitalization cost, $1,336/patient, from the cost of ET and wage lost due to ET, estimated at $4,563/patient. For patients receiving ET, the estimated increment in life expectancy was 1.82 years/person in a time period of 15.5 years, compared with patients in the control group. The cost-effectiveness ratio for long-term ET in patients with stable heart failure was thus determined at $1,773/life-year saved, at a 3% discount rate. Long-term ET in patients with stable chronic heart failure is cost-effective and prolongs survival by an additional 1.82 years at a low cost of $1,773 per/life-year saved.
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