It is important to understand the full implications of introducing a new screening and treatment programme into the National Health Service. In this paper, we calculate, for mild hypertension, the cost of community-based screening and the cost of case-finding in general practice. We show that case-finding in general practice is both less expensive and more efficient. We calculate the cost of running a programme in general practice for five years and divide that cost by an estimate of the number of deaths that might be prevented as a result of introducing such a programme. This calculation give a minimum cost for extending a life by the programme.
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