Screening for and preventing type 2 diabetes: cost effectiveness analysis
Karen Bloor explains a recent economic evaluation to inform policy and clinical decisions
At first glance, this paper probably looks impenetrable without training in health economics. It is complex, and it contains models and statistics, but it's worth persisting, to learn not only about screening policy in diabetes but also about interesting methods of economic evaluation in health care.
Diabetes is a substantial health problem that is increasing in prevalence at an alarming rate. The authors highlight the potential reduction in life expectancy from type 2 diabetes of as much as 15 years and predict doubling of prevalence of diabetes worldwide in the next 30 years. Half of people with diabetes are presently undiagnosed,1 and at presentation around a quarter have already developed complications such as retinopathy.2 There are therefore potential health benefits of preventing diabetes and detecting it early, and these authors explore the appropriateness of screening to achieve both of these aims. The research question was to assess the cost effectiveness