Shanahan CJ, Gibb RD, McRorie JW, Brum JM, Ritchey ME. Economic impact analysis of the coronary heart disease-attributed health care cost savings and productivity gains from the use of Psyllium. Nutrition and food science. 2019 Sep 7. doi: 10.1108/NFS-03-2019-0067.

PURPOSE: Numerous randomized clinical studies have shown that psyllium fiber lowers serum cholesterol in patients with hyperlipidemia and is thus recognized by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a dietary fiber that may help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) by lowering cholesterol. The purpose of this paper is to assess the potential economic implications for health-care cost savings and quality of life productivity gains if the cholesterol-lowering effect of psyllium, consumed daily as a fiber supplement, could be applied to a broad at-risk population.

METHODOLOGY: A cost-benefit analysis tool was used to examine evidence that the use of psyllium as a cholesterol-lowering agent can reduce overall CHD-attributed medical care service costs in the USA among those at high risk of experiencing disease-related events.

FINDINGS: Results of the analysis showed that the potential net annual avoided medical care service costs and annual quality of life productivity gains among US adults 45 and older with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels = 130 mg/dL could be up to an average of $870m per year from 2013 to 2020 if everyone in the target population used seven grams of soluble fiber from psyllium daily, corresponding to a net benefit-cost ratio of $1.19 savings in annual medical service cost and annual productivity gains per $1 spent on a psyllium regimen.

VALUE: Thus, the use of psyllium fiber as a daily supplement could be recommended as a means to help control the risk for potentially costly cardiovascular-related medical events and to maximize the economic potential for an improved quality of life in adults 45 and older with LDL cholesterol levels =130 mg/dL.

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