Lipid-Lowering Strategies for Primary Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease in the UK: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

Jedidiah I. Morton, Clara Marquina, Melanie Lloyd, Gerald F. Watts, Sophia Zoungas, Danny Liew, Zanfina Ademi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: We aimed to assess the cost effectiveness of four different lipid-lowering strategies for primary prevention of coronary heart disease initiated at ages 30, 40, 50, and 60 years from the UK National Health Service perspective. Methods: We developed a microsimulation model comparing the initiation of a lipid-lowering strategy to current standard of care (control). We included 458,692 participants of the UK Biobank study. The four lipid-lowering strategies were: (1) low/moderate-intensity statins; (2) high-intensity statins; (3) low/moderate-intensity statins and ezetimibe; and (4) inclisiran. The main outcome was the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for each lipid-lowering strategy compared to the control, with 3.5% annual discounting using 2021 GBP (£); incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were compared to the UK willingness-to-pay threshold of £20,000–£30,000 per quality-adjusted life-year. Results: The most effective intervention, low/moderate-intensity statins and ezetimibe, was projected to lead to a gain in quality-adjusted life-years of 0.067 per person initiated at 30 and 0.026 at age 60 years. Initiating therapy at 40 years of age was the most cost effective for all lipid-lowering strategies, with incremental cost-effectiveness ratios of £2553 (95% uncertainty interval: 1270, 3969), £4511 (3138, 6401), £11,107 (8655, 14,508), and £1,406,296 (1,121,775, 1,796,281) per quality-adjusted life-year gained for strategies 1–4, respectively. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were lower for male individuals (vs female individuals) and for people with higher (vs lower) low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol. For example, low/moderate-intensity statin use initiated from age 40 years had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of £5891 (3822, 9348), £2174 (772, 4216), and was dominant (i.e. cost saving; −2,760, 350) in female individuals with a low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol of ≥ 3.0, ≥ 4.0 and ≥ 5.0 mmol/L, respectively. Inclisiran was not cost effective in any sub-group at its current price. Conclusions: Low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol lowering from early ages is a more cost-effective strategy than late intervention and cost effectiveness increased with the increasing lifetime risk of coronary heart disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-107
Number of pages17
Issue number1
Early online date22 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

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