Posted on Nov 10, 2014, 6 a.m.
Taking key dietary supplements my reduce overall disease treatment-related hospital costs associated with coronary heart disease.
Hospitalizations for all U.S. adults over the age of 55 with coronary heart disease (CHD) cost the United States in excess of $64 billion in 2012. However, new research suggests that regularly taking certain dietary supplements may help to cut the number of hospitilizations for CHD, and thus also cut expenditure. Christopher Shanahan and Robert de Lorimier, PhD, examined peer-reviewed, published studies that looked separately at relationships between omega-3 supplement intake and the risk of a CHD-attributed event, and B vitamins intake and the risk of a CHD-attributed event. The researchers then projected the rates of CHD-attributed medical events across U.S. men and women over the age of 55 with CHD and applied a cost benefit analysis to determine the cost savings if people in this targeted population took omega-3 supplements or B vitamin supplements at preventive intake levels. Results showed that if every high-risk person (U.S. adults over 55 with CHD) in the target population were to take omega-3 supplements at preventive intake levels daily, there would be an average of $2.1 billion in avoided expenditures per year and a cumulative of $16.5 billion in avoided expenditures between 2013 and 2020. Whilst if every high-risk person in the target population were to take B vitamins at preventive intake levels daily, there would be an average of $1.5 billion in avoided expenditures per year and a cumulative of $12.1 billion in avoided expenditures between 2013 and 2020. "Many dietary supplement products are available in the market today that have been shown to have positive effects on heart health through associated clinical studies...Thus, the potential decrease of total health care expenditures in the United States is a strong argument for the daily use of dietary supplements," the authors said. "This is a relatively low-technology, yet smart, approach that can be used by consumers, physicians, employers, and policymakers as a means to reduce personal and societal health care costs."
Shanahan CJ, de Lorimier R. From Science to Finance-A Tool for Deriving Economic Implications from the Results of Dietary Supplement Clinical Studies. J Diet Suppl. 2014 Aug 28. [Epub ahead of print].