OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether the preventive use of cranberry capsules in long-term care facility (LTCF) residents is cost-effective depending on urinary tract infection (UTI) risk.
DESIGN: Economic evaluation with a randomized controlled trial.
SETTING: Long-term care facilities.
PARTICIPANTS: LTCF residents (N = 928, 703 female, median age 84), stratified according to UTI risk.
MEASUREMENTS: UTI incidence (clinically or strictly defined), survival, quality of life, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), and costs.
RESULTS: In the weeks after a clinical UTI, participants showed a significant but moderate deterioration in quality of life, survival, care dependency, and costs. In high-UTI-risk participants, cranberry costs were estimated at €439 per year (1.00 euro = 1.37 U.S. dollar), which is €3,800 per prevented clinically defined UTI (95% confidence interval = €1,300-infinity). Using the strict UTI definition, the use of cranberry increased costs without preventing UTIs. Taking cranberry capsules had a 22% probability of being cost-effective compared with placebo (at a willingness to pay of €40,000 per QALY). In low-UTI-risk participants, use of cranberry capsules was only 3% likely to be cost-effective.
CONCLUSION: In high-UTI-risk residents, taking cranberry capsules may be effective in preventing UTIs but is not likely to be cost-effective in the investigated dosage, frequency, and setting. In low-UTI-risk LTCF residents, taking cranberry capsules twice daily is neither effective nor cost-effective.
van den Hout WB, Caljouw MA, Putter H, Cools HJ, Gussekloo J. Are you the author?
Reference: J Am Geriatr Soc. 2014 Jan;62(1):111-6.