Louis A. De Nino, PhD; Cynthia D. Mulrow, MD, MSc
To the Editor: We question whether Littenberg, Garber, and Sox (1) have really shown the cost-effectiveness of hypertension screening for all adults. They assumed that most patients can be treated using low-cost drugs, with annual treatment cost estimated at $300 (range, $50 to $500).
Standard hypertension treatment includes three or four follow-up visits and two or three sets of laboratory work annually. A physician visit costs between $30 and $50, and laboratory work costs approximately $25 to $50. Drug costs alone can range from $36 per year for reserpine to $300 for propranolol hydrochloride to over $1400 for captopril (2).
De Nino LA, Mulrow CD. Screening for Hypertension. Ann Intern Med. ;112:796–797. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-112-10-796_3
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1990;112(10):796-797.
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