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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 9

of 'Indications and diagnostic tests for Helicobacter pylori infection'

Modelling cost-effectiveness of Helicobacter pylori screening to prevent gastric cancer: a mandate for clinical trials.
Parsonnet J, Harris RA, Hack HM, Owens DK
Lancet. 1996;348(9021):150.
BACKGROUND: It is unknown whether eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection prevents development of gastric adenocarcinoma. To determine whether screening and treatment trials are warranted, we conducted a cost-effectiveness analysis to estimate the costs and benefits associated with screening for H pylori at age 50 and treating those individuals infected with antibiotics.
METHODS: We compared two interventions: (1) screen for H pylori and treat those with a positive test, and (2) do not screen and do not treat. Estimates of risks and costs were obtained by review of published reports. Since the efficacy of H pylori therapy in cancer prevention is unknown, we did sensitivity analyses, varying this estimate widely. In our base-case analysis, we assumed that H pylori treatment prevented 30% of attributable gastric cancers.
FINDINGS: In the base-case analysis, 11,646,000 persons in the US would be screened and 4,658,400 treated, at a cost of $996 million. Cost-effectiveness was $25,000 per year of life saved. Cost-effectiveness was sensitive to the efficacy of the cancer prevention strategy. At low efficacy rates (<10%), the screening programme was more expensive (>$75,000 per year of life saved). In a high-risk group such as Japanese-Americans, however, screening and treatment required less than $50,000 per year of life saved, even at 5% treatment efficacy.
INTERPRETATION: Screening and treatment for H pylori infection is potentially cost-effective in the prevention of gastric cancer, particularly in high-risk populations. Cancer prevention trials are strongly recommended.
Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305, USA.