- Early preterm birth (ePTB) occurs before 34 weeks gestation.
- ePTB cost the US approximately USD 10.6 Billion in 2014.
- Public policy effort to increase DHA intake of pregnant women is important.
Shireman TI, Kerling EH, Gajewski BJ, Colombo J, Carlson SE (2016) Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 111 8-10
The Kansas University DHA Outcomes Study (KUDOS) found a significant reduction in early preterm births with a supplement of 600mg DHA per day compared to placebo.
The objective of this analysis was to determine if hospital costs differed between groups. We applied a post-hoc cost analysis of the delivery hospitalization and all hospitalizations in the following year to 197 mother-infant dyads who delivered at Kansas University Hospital.
Hospital cost saving of DHA supplementation amounted to $1678 per infant. Even after adjusting for the estimated cost of providing 600 mg/d DHA for 26 weeks ($166.48) and a slightly higher maternal care cost ($26) in the DHA group, the net saving per dyad was $1484.
Extrapolating this to the nearly 4 million US deliveries per year suggests universal supplementation with 600 mg/d during the last 2 trimesters of pregnancy could save the US health care system up to USD 6 billion.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Docosahexaenoic acid; Hospital cost; Pregnancy; Preterm birth