Estimated cost-effectiveness of newborn screening for congenital cytomegalovirus infection in China using a Markov model

Kai Chen, Yaqin Zhong, Yuanyuan Gu, Rajan Sharma, Muting Li, Jinjun Zhou, Youjia Wu, Yuexia Gao, Gang Qin

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11 Citations (Scopus)
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Importance Congenital cytomegalovirus infection (cCMVi) is one of the most common infections associated with childhood hearing loss. Prevention and mitigation of cCMVi-related hearing loss will require an increase in newborn screening, which is not yet available in China.

Objective To estimate the cost-effectiveness of newborn screening strategies for cCMVi from the perspective of the Chinese health care system.

Design, Setting, and Participants A decision tree for a simulated cohort population of 15 000 000 live births was developed to compare the costs and health effects of 3 mutually exclusive interventions: (1) no screening, (2) targeted screening using CMV polymerase chain reaction assay for newborns who fail a universal hearing screening, and (3) universal screening for CMV among all newborns. Markov diagrams were used to evaluate the lifetime horizon (76 years).

Main Outcomes and Measures Cost, hearing-related health outcomes, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) were estimated based on a direct medical costs perspective. Costs and ICERs were reported in 2018 US dollars.

Results Incidence of cCMVi among newborns was reported to be approximately 0.7% in China. Targeted screening was less costly but also less effective than universal screening, identifying 41% of cases needing antiviral treatment and preventing nearly half of less severe or profound hearing loss. To avoid 1 CMV-related severe or profound hearing loss, 13 and 16 newborns need to be treated by targeted and universal screening, respectively. The ICERs of targeted and universal screening vs no screening were $79 and $2087 per quality-adjusted life-year gained, respectively, at the discounted rate of 3.5%. Both screening options were cost-effective for the Chinese health care system based on the willingness-to-pay threshold of 3 × gross domestic product per capita. The sensitivity analysis showed that the prevalence of cCMVi, as well as diagnosis and treatment costs, were key factors that may be associated with decision-making.

Conclusions and Relevance To achieve cost-effectiveness and best health outcomes, universal screening could be considered for the Chinese population. While the results are specific to China, the model may easily be adapted for other countries.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2023949
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJAMA Network Open
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2020

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