BACKGROUND: Fertile-aged women are a population group at special risk for developing ferropenia. In the periodic health care examinations, hemogram, among other tests, are included to detect the most advanced state of iron deficity, ferropenic anemia. Likewise, preanemic ferropenia presents a certain morbidity. The aim of this study was to analyze the cost-effectiveness of screening serum ferritin determination in health care examinations of fertile-aged women. SUBJETS AND METHODS: An observational transversal study was carried out in 322 women in whom hemogram and serum ferritin were determined. The effects of serum ferritin determination were simulated in a hypothetical cohort of 20-year-old women annually examined up to the age of 50 years (mean age of menopause). RESULIS: The prevalence of preanemic ferropenia (serum ferritin ≤25 ng/ml) was 44.1% and that of ferropenic anemica (Hb < 120 g/l and serum ferritin ≤ 25 ng/ml) was 3.4%. Hemogram sensitivity for detection of ferropenia was 7.2% (3.6-12.5). By means of the screening program with serum ferritin avoiding of one year with ferropenia costs 2,428 pesetas. Prolonging the program to longer than 35 years largely increases the marginal cost. Cost-effectiveness analysis is specially sensitive to the cost of the diagnostic tests and disease prevalence. CONCLUSIONS: Ferropenia in fertile-aged women is a frequent disorder. Avoiding ferropenia by early diagnosis may be performed at a relatively low cost.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 1996|