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We describe and illustrate the use of a generalizable model for evaluating the cost-effectiveness of alternative cholesterol-lowering treatments. We combine standard incidence-based techniques for measuring the cost of illness with logistic risk functions from the Framingham Heart Study to project, for persons with known coronary risk characteristics, the likelihood of developing coronary heart disease (CHD) over a lifetime as well as a number of related outcomes, including the expected loss of years of life due to CHD, the expected lifetime direct and indirect costs of CHD, and the changes in these outcomes that would result from cholesterol-lowering treatment.
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