Economic evaluation of the direct healthcare cost savings resulting from the use of walking interventions to prevent coronary heart disease in Australia

  • Henry Zheng
  • Fred Ehrlich
  • Janaki Amin


Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in Australia. Direct healthcare costs of CHD exceed those of any other disease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the direct healthcare cost savings resulting from walking interventions to prevent CHD in Australia. A meta-analysis was performed to quantify the efficacy of walking interventions in preventing CHD. The etiologic fraction and other mathematical models were applied to quantify the cost savings resulting from walking interventions to prevent CHD. The net direct healthcare cost savings in CHD prevention resulting from 30 min of normal walking a day for 5–7 days a week by the sufficient walking population were estimated at AU$126.73 million in 2004. The cost savings could increase to $419.90 million if all the inactive adult Australians engaged in 1 h of normal walking a day for 5–7 days a week. Given its low injury risk and high adherence, walking should be advocated as a key population-based primary intervention strategy for CHD prevention and healthcare cost reduction.


Coronary heart disease Cost savings Healthcare cost Physical activity Walking Meta-analysis 

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public Health and Community MedicineThe University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical ResearchThe University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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