Poster Topical Area: Aging and Chronic Disease
Poster Board Number: 119
Objective: Heart disease ranked first among the causes of death in the United States, leading to over 630,000 deaths in 2015. Stroke led to over 140,000 deaths in the same year. Many studies showed that almond consumption can reduce LDL level, which is beneficial for cardiovascular disease. The US Food and Drug Administration also confirmed that 1.5 oz. nut intake may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by decreasing LDL level. The objective of this study was to examine the cost-effectiveness of almond consumption in preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD) through the change of LDL level.
Methods: A decision model was developed for consuming 1.5 oz. almond per day versus no almond and CVD. Parameters in the model were derived from literature, which included the probabilities of increasing LDL, developing acute myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke, taking MI-related surgeries, death due to the disease and surgeries, the cost of disease and procedures in the U.S. population, and quality-adjusted life years of the diseases. The cost of almond was based on current price in the U.S. market. Sensitivity analysis was conducted for the impact in men vs. women aged 28 to 62 years old.
Results: The annual net monetary benefit (NMB) of 1.5-oz. almond consumption was $1,436.99 higher per person than no almond consumption when each individual is willing to pay $50,000 for health care annually. Given that 1.5 million adults suffered from heart attack and stroke, we estimate an annual direct saving of over $2 billion on CVD medical cost at the population level. The NMB of consuming almond is higher regardless of the level of willingness to pay for health care. In the sensitivity analysis, 1.5 oz. almond was preferred in both men and women with a lower individual annual NMB difference in women than men ($1,338.85 in women vs. $1,436.99 in men).
Conclusion: Consuming 1.5 oz. almond per day is a more cost-effective option for primary CVD prevention through LDL reduction compared with no almond consumption.
Almond Board of California; USDA 8050-51000-095-01S
Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University