The effectiveness and cost effectiveness of dark chocolate consumption as prevention therapy in people at high risk of cardiovascular disease: Best case scenario analysis using a Markov model
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Objective: To model the long term effectiveness and cost effectiveness of daily dark chocolate consumption in a population with metabolic syndrome at high risk of cardiovascular disease. Design: Best case scenario analysis using a Markov model. Setting: Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle study. Participants 2013 people with hypertension who met the criteria for metabolic syndrome, with no history of cardiovascular disease and not receiving antihypertensive therapy. Main outcome measures: Treatment effects associated with dark chocolate consumption derived from published meta-analyses were used to determine the absolute number of cardiovascular events with and without treatment. Costs associated with cardiovascular events and treatments were applied to determine the potential amount of funding required for dark chocolate therapy to be considered cost effective. Results: Daily consumption of dark chocolate (polyphenol content equivalent to 100 g of dark chocolate) can reduce cardiovascular events by 85 (95% confidence interval 60 to 105) per 10 000 population treated over 10 years. $A40 (£25; €31; $42) could be cost effectively spent per person per year on prevention strategies using dark chocolate. These results assume 100% compliance and represent a best case scenario. Conclusions: The blood pressure and cholesterol lowering effects of dark chocolate consumption are beneficial in the prevention of cardiovascular events in a population with metabolic syndrome. Daily dark chocolate consumption could be an effective cardiovascular preventive strategy in this population.
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