Cost-Utility Analysis of Heart Surgeries for Young Adults With Severe Rheumatic Mitral Valve Disease in India

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Background: Rheumatic mitral valve disease (RMVD) is a major cause of acquired valvular disease in India. We compared the cost-effectiveness of surgical treatment strategies for young adults with severe RMVD from an Indian public payer perspective.

Methods: We developed a Markov model to reflect the burden of RMVD among a hypothetical cohort of 20-year-olds in India and to estimate quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and lifetime costs associated with three strategies: (1) Repair; (2) Mechanical valve replacement (MVR-M); and (3) Bioprosthetic valve replacement (MVR-B), compared to a baseline strategy involving a mix of surgeries approximating the standard of care in India (32% Repair, 33% MVR-M, 35% MVR-B). Data on disease burden, intervention effects, and direct medical costs (2018 US$) were obtained from the literature. Deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were conducted to assess model uncertainty.

Results: Repair ($2530, 9.7 QALYs) was less costly and more effective than the standard of care ($2990, 8.7 QALYs) and MVR-M ($3220, 6.2 QALYs). The incremental cost-effective ratio for MVR-B ($3190, 10.1 QALYs) compared to Repair was $1590 per QALY, which may be cost-effective at a threshold of India's per-capita gross domestic product (GDP: $2005). The optimal choice between Repair or MVR-B was sensitive to variations in surgery costs, background mortality, and risks for reoperation.

Conclusions: Our model-based analysis suggests that Repair is the optimal strategy and MVR-M should not be recommended for this subpopulation. MVR-B may be cost-effective in contexts where quality of Repair is not assured, newer generation bioprostheses are used, or the costs of the bioprosthetic valve decrease.