Studies have shown that approximately 80% of hypertensive patients do not take diuretics despite their recommendation as a first-line therapy. A recent study reported that hypertensive patients with the Gly460Trp variant in the α-adducin gene are more likely to benefit from diuretic therapy. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential cost effectiveness of screening for the α-adducin Gly460Trp variant among hypertensive patients.
A decision analytic Markov model was developed to estimate the clinical and economic outcomes comparing screening for the Gly460Trp variant to identify patients for addition of a diuretic compared to no screening and no addition of diuretic (usual care) in a hypothetical cohort of treated hypertensive patients not receiving diuretic therapy. We used a lifetime horizon and payer perspective. Cost, utility and epidemiological data were obtained from the literature. One-way, probabilistic, and scenario sensitivity analyses were conducted to evaluate the uncertainty in the results.
The screening strategy increased quality adjusted life years (QALYs) by 0.14 (95% confidence range [CR]: 0.05, 0.36) and saved $1834 ($505, $5174) compared to usual care. The most influential input was the strength of the interaction between the α-adducin gene variant and diuretic effect.
Our results suggest that screening for the α-adducin gene variant may be a useful mechanism to identify patients most likely to benefit from diuretic therapy and improve compliance with current treatment guidelines.