QALY Models in the Economic Evaluation of Cardiovascular Disease

J. Mukuddem-Petersen and M.A. Petersen (South Africa)


Quality-Adjusted Life-Years (QALYs); Healthcare; Economic Evaluation; Cost Effectiveness Ratio; Cardiovascular Disease.


A quality adjusted life year (QALY) is an outcome measure that takes into account both quantity and quality of the extra life provided by a healthcare in tervention. In reality, a QALY can be determined as the arithmetic product of life expectancy and the quality of the remaining years. Despite the fact that several problems have been identified, expected utility (EU) theory contin ues to provide the mathematical basis for the development of QALY models. In this paper, we specifically consider the mathematical characterization, the benefits and the limita tions of the QALY modelling approach. Also, we discuss the application of this model to the evaluation of cost ef fectiveness for cardiovascular disease (CVD), prevention, diagnosis and treatment. In many of the contributions on CVD mentioned subsequently, this process relies heavily on Markov models that are useful when a decision problem involves risk that is continuous over time.

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