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March 27, 1996

Cost-effectiveness of Hepatitis B Virus Immunization

Author Affiliations

University of Alabama School of Medicine Huntsville

JAMA. 1996;275(12):908. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530360017020

To the Editor.  —In Table 5 of the article by Dr Margolis and colleagues,1 the cost per discounted year of life saved is $20 619 to $68 528 for the infant immunization strategy. This compares with the cost of treating hypertension in a man with a diastolic blood pressure of 95 to 104 mm Hg ($22 600 [1981 dollars] per year of life saved),2 the cost of renal dialysis ($35 000 to $45 000 [1993 dollars] per year of life saved),3 and the cost of mammographic screening in women younger than age 50 ($67 367 [1995 dollars]).4 Society, concerned with the cost of proposed health strategies, may or may not agree that the hepatitis prevention program is an affordable entitlement worthy of tax support. In any case, for comparisons to be made readily among different studies, it is important that the editors of such articles standardize