Korean Journal of Pediatrics 2005;48(4):369-375.
Published online April 15, 2005.
A Cost-benefit Analysis on Neonatal Screening of Phenylketonuria and Congenital Hypothyroidism in Korea
Hoe Cheol Yoon, Nyeon Cheon Kim, Dong Hwan Lee
Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University, Seoul, Korea
한국에서의 페닐케톤뇨증과 선천성 갑상샘 저하증에 대한 신생아 집단 선별 검사의 경제성 분석
윤희철, 김년천, 이동환
순천향대학교 의과대학 소아과학교실
Correspondence: 
Dong Hwan Lee, Email: ldh@hosp.sch.ac.kr
Abstract
Purpose
: Many inborn errors of metabolism can be completely cured with early detection and early treatment. This is why neonatal screening on inborn errors of metabolism is implemented worldwide. In this study, a cost-benefit analysis was performed on the neonatal screening of phenylketonuria and congenital hypothyroidism in Korea.
Methods
: This study included 2,908,231 neonates who took the neonatal screening on phenylketonuria and congenital hypothyroidism in Korea from January 1991 to December 2003. From those neonates, the incidence rates of phenylketonuria and congenital hypothyroidism were measured. Furthermore, based on 495,000 babies born in 2002, were calculated and compared the total costs in case when neonatal screening on phenylketonuria and congenital hypothyroidism is implemented, and when not.
Results
: If the neonatal screening on phenylketonuria and congenital hypothyroidism is implemented, benefits far exceed costs at a ratio of 1.77 : 1 in phenylketonuria, and 11.11 : 1 in congenital hypothyroidism. In terms of wons, the present neonatal screening on phenylketonuria and congenital hypothyroidism will gain us more than 29 billion wons every year.
Conclusion
: This study only concerns the monetary aspects of the neonatal screening. Therefore, the benefits of the neonatal screening is underestimated by ignoring precious but not measurable values such as quality of life. However, the present neonatal screening on phenylketonuria and congenital hypothyroidism is found to be beneficial and should continue for the good of the nation as well as that of the patients.
Key Words: Neonatal screening , Phenylketonuria , Congenital hypothyroidism , Cost-benefit analysis


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