Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Perinatal interventions delivered during the prenatal period have the potential to directly impact prenatal life. The decision on when to begin 'counting' the life of an infant in the calculus has received little attention in previous economic evaluations of perinatal interventions. We illustrate, using data from a recent trial-based economic evaluation of magnesium sulphate given to women with pre-eclampsia to prevent eclampsia, how different definitions of when human life commences can have a significant impact upon cost-effectiveness estimates based on composite outcome measures such as life years or quality-adjusted life years gained or disability-adjusted life years averted. Further, we suggest ways in which methods in this area can be improved.

Original publication




Journal article


Health Econ

Publication Date





487 - 494


Cost-Benefit Analysis, Eclampsia, Female, Humans, Magnesium Sulfate, Pregnancy, Prenatal Care, Quality-Adjusted Life Years, Social Class, Value of Life