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OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the cost effectiveness of 40 mg simvastatin daily continued for life in people of different ages with differing risks of vascular disease. DESIGN: A model developed from a randomised trial was used to estimate lifetime risks of vascular events and costs of treatment and hospital admissions in the United Kingdom. SETTING: 69 hospitals in the UK. PARTICIPANTS: 20,536 men and women (aged 40-80) with coronary disease, other occlusive arterial disease, or diabetes. INTERVENTIONS: 40 mg simvastatin daily versus placebo for an average of 5 years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Cost effectiveness of 40 mg simvastatin daily expressed as additional cost per life year gained. Major vascular event defined as non-fatal myocardial infarction or death from coronary disease, any stroke, or revascularisation procedure. Results were extrapolated to younger and older age groups at lower risk of vascular disease than were studied directly, as well as to lifetime treatment. RESULTS: At the April 2005 UK price of 4.87 pounds sterling (7 euros; 9 dollars) per 28 day pack of generic 40 mg simvastatin, lifetime treatment was cost saving in most age groups and vascular disease risk groups studied directly. Gains in life expectancy and cost savings decreased with increasing age and with decreasing risk of vascular disease. People aged 40-49 with 5 year risks of major vascular events of 42% and 12% at start of treatment gained 2.49 and 1.67 life years, respectively. Treatment with statins remained cost saving or cost less than 2500 pounds sterling per life year gained in people as young as 35 years or as old as 85 with 5 year risks of a major vascular event as low as 5% at the start of treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with statins is cost effective in a wider population than is routinely treated at present.

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Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Arterial Occlusive Diseases, Coronary Disease, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Diabetic Angiopathies, Female, Humans, Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors, Life Expectancy, Male, Middle Aged, Quality-Adjusted Life Years, Risk Factors, Simvastatin