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Spanning the Spectrum

Researchers measure the cost-effectiveness of disease-prevention strategies in terms of dollars spent per "quality-adjusted life year," or QALY, gained as a result of putting the strategy into effect. A year of good health is one QALY. The lower the amount per QALY, the more cost-effective the intervention is. Some interventions lower the total cost to the health-care system, effectively saving money.

Chart: Spanning the Spectrum

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In the Balance
Article | An ounce of prevention may have been worth a pound of cure in households down through the ages, but in the world of health economics the adage, alas, is not true.

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