ObjectiveTo examine the performances of an alternative strategy to decide initiating BP-lowering drugs called Proportional Benefit (PB). It selects candidates addressing the inequity induced by the high-risk approach since it distributes the gains proportionally to the burden of disease by genders and ages.
Study design and settingMild hypertensives from a Realistic Virtual Population by genders and 10-year age classes (range 35-64 years) received simulated treatment over 10 years according to the PB strategy or the 2007 ESH/ESC guidelines (ESH/ESC). Primary outcomes were the relative life-year gain (life-years gained-to-years of potential life lost ratio) and the number needed to treat to gain a life-year. A sensitivity analysis was performed to assess the impact of changes introduced by the ESH/ESC guidelines appeared in 2013 on these outcomes.
ResultsThe 2007 ESH/ESC relative life-year gains by ages were 2%; 10%; 14% in men, and 0%; 2%; 11% in women, this gradient being abolished by the PB (relative gain in all categories = 10%), while preserving the same overall gain in life-years. The redistribution of benefits improved the profile of residual events in younger individuals compared to the 2007 ESH/ESC guidelines. The PB strategy was more efficient (NNT = 131) than the 2013 ESH/ESC guidelines, whatever the level of evidence of the scenario adopted (NNT = 139 and NNT = 179 with the evidence-based scenario and the opinion-based scenario, respectively), although the 2007 ESH/ESC guidelines remained the most efficient strategy (NNT = 114).
ConclusionThe Proportional Benefit strategy provides the first response ever proposed against the inequity of resource use when treating highest risk people. It occupies an intermediate position with regards to the efficiency expected from the application of historical and current ESH/ESC hypertension guidelines. Our approach allows adapting recommendations to the risk and resources of a particular country.
SUBMITTER: Marchant I