Management of childhood lead poisoning: clinical impact and cost-effectiveness.

Versión para impresión
TítuloManagement of childhood lead poisoning: clinical impact and cost-effectiveness.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Año de publicación1995
AutoresGlotzer, D. E., Freedberg K. A., and Bauchner H.
JournalMedical decision making : an international journal of the Society for Medical Decision Making
Date Published1995 Jan-Mar
Publication Languageeng

OBJECTIVES: No consensus exists regarding the preferred treatment of childhood lead poisoning. The authors used decision analysis to compare the clinical impacts and cost-effectiveness of four management strategies for childhood lead poisoning, and to investigate how effective chelation therapy must be in reducing neuropsychologic sequelae to warrant its use. METHODS: The model was based on a 2-year-old child with moderate lead poisoning [blood lead level 1.21 to 1.88 mumol/L (25 to 39 micrograms/dL)]. The following strategies were compared: 1) no treatment; 2) EDTA provocation testing, followed by chelation if testing is positive (PROV); 3) penicillamine chelation with crossover to EDTA provocation testing if toxicity occurs (PCA); 4) EDTA provocation testing with crossover to penicillamine chelation if testing is negative (EDTA). RESULTS: The EDTA and PCA strategies prevented 22.5% of the cases of reading disability and resulted in an increase of 1.02 quality-adjusted life years compared with no treatment. When the costs of outpatient EDTA testing and chelation are considered, the EDTA strategy is more cost-effective than the PCA strategy; when inpatient costs are considered, the PCA strategy becomes more cost-effective. When costs of remedial education are considered, all strategies are cost-saving compared with no treatment if chelation reduces the risk of lead-induced reading disability by more than 20%. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment strategies for childhood lead poisoning vary in clinical impact, cost, and cost-effectiveness. Chelation of the 1.4% of United States preschoolers whose blood lead levels are 2.21 mumol/L (25 micrograms/dL) or higher could prevent more than 45,000 cases of reading disability, and save more than $900 million per year in overall costs when the costs of remedial education are considered.

Alternate JournalMed Decis Making