AIMS: The aim of this study was to estimate the cost-effectiveness of 2 weeks of intermittent screening for asymptomatic atrial fibrillation (AF) in 75/76-year-old individuals.
METHODS AND RESULTS: The cost-effectiveness analysis of screening in 75-year-old individuals was based on a lifelong decision analytic Markov model. In this model, 1000 hypothetical individuals, who matched the population of the STROKESTOP study, were simulated. The population was analysed for different parameters such as prevalence, AF status, treatment with oral anticoagulation, stroke risk, utility, and costs. In the base-case scenario, screening of 1000 individuals resulted in 263 fewer patient-years with undetected AF. This implies eight fewer strokes, 11 more life-years, and 12 more quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) per 1000 screened individuals. The screening implies an incremental cost of €50 012, resulting in a cost of €4313 per gained QALY and €6583 per avoided stroke.
CONCLUSIONS: With the use of a decision analytic simulation model, it has been shown that screening for asymptomatic AF in 75/76-year-old individuals is cost-effective.