Modifying Homes to Prevent Falls is Very Cost-effective: New NZ Study

Monday, June 13th, 2016 | Kate Sloane | No Comments

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Giorgi Kvizhinadze, Dr Eamonn Deverall, Prof Tony Blakely

grab-bars-bathroom-1673883106A just published modelling study by the BODE3 Team has reported that “home safety assessment and modification” (e.g., adding hand rails and removing tripping hazards in homes) appears to be a very cost-effective health sector intervention. But even more cost-effective was targeting this intervention to older people with previous injurious falls. In this blog we take a closer look at this intervention and consider what policy-makers, NGOs and citizens might wish to consider doing in response to the evidence.

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A new online calculator for estimating how much a society might spend on life-saving interventions

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 | Kate Sloane | No Comments

By the BODE3 Programme Team*

In this blog we describe an online calculator we developed to estimate the maximum investment society might consider spending on life-saving health interventions, while remaining cost-effective. For NZ, the amounts generated by this calculator vary greatly by age: NZ$ 1.2 million for an intervention to save the life of a child, NZ$ 0.7 million for a 50-year-old, and NZ$ 0.2 million for an 80-year-old, assuming we are willing to spend $45,000 per healthy life-years gained and the person is returned to the expected health status of the average NZ citizen. These results are very sensitive to the choice of discount rate and to the selected cost-effectiveness threshold. Policy-makers could use this calculator as a rapid screening tool to determine if more detailed cost-effectiveness analyses of potential life-saving interventions might be worthwhile.

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Daily aspirin for preventing cancer and heart disease – where to from here in NZ?

Thursday, September 18th, 2014 | Kate Sloane | 1 Comment

Associate Professor Nick Wilson, Professor Tony Blakely

Aspirin imageA recently published review has quantified the estimated benefits and harms of taking regular aspirin for disease prevention. The results indicate a relatively favourable benefit-to-harm ratio (good for preventing various cancers and heart attacks – but also harmful in terms of causing gastric bleeding and one type of stroke). But for some people, the relative size of the benefit may still not be enough to outweigh the dislike of taking daily medication. This blog briefly looks at the issues and considers possible responses by NZ health agencies and research funders.

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How might NZ expand community water fluoridation?

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 | Kate Sloane | 1 Comment

Associate Professor Nick Wilson

Water fluoridation imageThe recently published Report on the safety of water fluoridation (Royal Society of NZ & the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor) gave a green light for expanding water fluoridation in New Zealand given the scientific evidence for health benefit and safety, reduction in inequalities in oral health, and the cost-effectiveness. This blog post goes further to explore what else could be done to maximise the benefits of fluoridation for the oral health of New Zealanders.

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