Background — Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is a devastating complication of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The optimal strategy for the primary prevention of SCD in HCM remains controversial.
Methods — Using a Markov model, we compared the health benefits and cost-effectiveness of 3 strategies for the primary prevention of SCD: implantable cardioverter/defibrillator (ICD) insertion, amiodarone therapy, or no therapy. We modeled hypothetical cohorts of 45-year-old patients with HCM with no history of cardiac arrest but at significant risk of SCD (3%/y).
Results — Over a lifetime, compared with no therapy, ICD therapy increased quality-adjusted survival by 4.7 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) at an additional cost of $142800 ($30000 per QALY), whereas amiodarone increased quality-adjusted survival by 2.8 QALYs at an additional cost of $104900 ($37300 per QALY). Compared with no therapy, ICD therapy would cost <$50000 per QALY for patients (i) aged 25, with ≥1 risk factors for SCD, and (ii) aged 45 or 65, with ≥2 risk factors for SCD.
Conclusions — An ICD strategy is projected to yield the greatest increase in quality-adjusted life expectancy of the 3 treatment strategies evaluated. Combined consideration of age and the number of risk factors for SCD may allow more precise tailoring of ICD therapy to its expected benefits.