Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

This study reports the cost-effectiveness of interventions with nonsignificant differences in effect, and considers reporting of cost-effectiveness in situations where nonsignificant differences arise in some but not all end points.Data on costs and effects associated with three end points (adequate assessment, risk factors, and life-years) were derived from a trial of methods to promote secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. Incremental cost per life-year gained figures were calculated, and the uncertainty around these was displayed on cost-effectiveness planes in the form of ellipses.There was a significant difference in one of the intermediate end points (adequate assessment) but nonsignificant differences in the other intermediate end point (risk factors) and the final end point (life-years). Estimation of cost per life-year figures revealed the cost-effectiveness of the interventions to be unfavorable.Cost-effectiveness ratios based on final end points should be calculated even in situations where nonsignificant differences in life-years arise, to avoid publication bias and to provide decision makers with useful information. Uncertainty in the incremental cost-effectiveness ratios should be estimated and presented graphically.

Original publication




Journal article


International journal of technology assessment in health care

Publication Date





476 - 489


Health Economics Research Centre, University of Oxford, Institute of Health Sciences, Headington, UK.


Humans, Coronary Disease, Data Interpretation, Statistical, Risk Factors, Quality-Adjusted Life Years, Cost of Illness, Aged, Middle Aged, Preventive Health Services, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Health Services Research, Female, Male, United Kingdom