Preconception care: preliminary estimates of costs and effects of smoking cessation and folic acid supplementation.
SourceJournal of Reproductive Medicine, 49, 5, (2004), pp. 338-344
Article / Letter to editor
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Journal of Reproductive Medicine
SubjectEBP 2: Effective Hospital Care; UMCN 5.2: Endocrinology and reproduction
OBJECTIVE: To assess costs and effectiveness of preconception counseling for all women planning pregnancy in The Netherlands with regard to folic acid supplementation and smoking cessation counseling. STUDY DESIGN: Costs and effects were estimated based on 200,000 women approached yearly and uptake rates of 50% and 75%. Effectiveness and potential savings were based on hospital costs of neural tube defects, low birth weight, very low birth weight and perinatal death attributable to maternal smoking. RESULTS: Total costs were estimated at dollar 5.1 million and dollar 7.2 million at uptake rates of 50% and 75%, respectively. If 50% of women would seek preconception counseling, 22 neural tube defects, 98 low-birth-weight infants, 10 very-low-birth-weight infants and 7 perinatal deaths could be avoided. At 75% uptake, 33 neural tube defects, 146 low- and 15 very-low-birth-weight infants, and 11 perinatal deaths could be avoided. CONCLUSION: Net costs of preconception counseling amount to dollar 3.7 million and dollar 5.0 million when considering cases prevented and subsequent potential savings in costs of neural tube defects and smoking-related morbidity only. However, in light of many other preventable adverse outcomes and the potential of preconception counseling to prevent significant lifetime costs for affected children, the net costs may ultimately result in a favorable cost-savings balance. Moreover, the importance of a healthy child cannot be expressed in terms of costs and savings alone.
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