University Of Tasmania

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Cost impact of undertaking detection and management of familial hypercholesterolaemia in Australian general practice

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 11:08 authored by Li, LW, Watts, R, Brett, T, Janette RadfordJanette Radford, Heal, C, Gill, G, Hespe, C, Vargas-Garcia, C, Sullivan, DR, Vickery, AW, Pang, J, Arnold-Reed, DE, Chang, DC, Watts, GF

Background and objectives: Familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) can be effectively detected and managed in primary care, but the health economic evidence for this is scarce. The aim of this study was to examine management pathways and cost implications of FH screening and management in Australian general practice.

Method: Cost-effectiveness outcomes were projected using a life table model. Data was used from 133 patients in 15 Australian general practice clinics from an earlier screening and management study. Costing and mortality data were sourced from governmental sources and published literature.

Results: Most patients had a regular general practice consultation at baseline (82%), though the proportion seen under a chronic disease management item at follow-up increased to 23%. The median cost of management was $275 per annum in the first year of management. Managing patients with statins up to the age of 60 years yielded an increase of 248,954 life-years at a cost of $759 million, representing a cost per life-year gained of $3047.

Discussion: Screening and management of FH in general practice has the potential for substantial health benefits while requiring relatively modest investments from the health system.


National Health & Medical Research Council

Deakin University

James Cook University

Primary Health Tasmania

University of Notre Dame Australia

University of Western Australia


Publication title

Australian journal of general practice










Tasmanian School of Medicine


Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

Place of publication

East Melbourne

Rights statement

© 2022 The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Health system performance (incl. effectiveness of programs); Primary care; Preventive medicine