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Cost-effectiveness of salt reduction to prevent hypertension and CVD: a systematic review

  • Elisabeth Schorling (a1), Dea Niebuhr (a2) and Anja Kroke (a3)

Abstract

Objective

To analyse and compare the cost-effectiveness of different interventions to reduce salt consumption.

Design

A systematic review of published cost-effectiveness analyses (CEA) and cost-utility analyses (CUA) was undertaken in the databases EMBASE, MEDLINE (PubMed), Cochrane and others until July 2016. Study selection was limited to CEA and CUA conducted in member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in English, German or French, without time limit. Outcomes measures were life years gained (LYG), disability-adjusted life years (DALY) and quality-adjusted life years (QALY). Relevant aspects in modelling were analysed and compared. Quality assessments were conducted using the Drummond and Jefferson/British Medical Journal checklist.

Setting

OECD member countries.

Subjects

Mainly adults.

Results

Fourteen CEA and CUA were included in the review which analysed different strategies: salt reduction or substitution in processed foods, taxes, labelling, awareness campaigns and targeted dietary advice. Fifty-nine out of sixty-two scenarios were cost-saving. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio in international dollars (Intl.$; 2015) was particularly low for taxes, a salt reduction by food manufacturers and labelling (<−3072 Intl.$/QALY, −6187 Intl.$/LYG and <584 Intl.$/DALY over the time horizon compared with the status quo or no intervention). Targeted dietary advice was rather not cost-effective (24 600 Intl.$/QALY and >303 900 Intl.$/DALY). However, only six studies analysed cost-effectiveness from a societal perspective and quality assessments showed flaws in conducting and a lack of transparency in reporting.

Conclusions

A population-wide salt reduction could be cost-effective in prevention of hypertension and CVD in OECD member countries. However, comparability between study results is limited due to differences in modelling, applied perspectives and considered data.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Email elisabeth.schorling@uni-bayreuth.de

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