No economic data from population-based studies exist on acute or late hospital, community, and indirect costs of stroke associated with atrial fibrillation (AF-stroke). Such data are essential for policy development, service planning, and cost-effectiveness analysis of new therapeutic agents. In a population-based prospective study of incident and recurrent stroke treated in hospital and community settings, we investigated direct (healthcare related) and indirect costs for a 2-year period. Survival, disability, poststroke residence, and healthcare use were determined at 90 days, 1 year, and 2 years. Acute hospital cost was determined using a case-mix approach, and other costs using a bottom-up approach (2007 prices). In 568 patients ascertained in 1 year (2006), the total estimated 2-year cost was $33.84 million. In the overall sample, AF-stroke accounted for 31% (177) of patients, but a higher proportion of costs (40.5% of total and 45% of nursing home costs). On a per-patient basis compared with non-AF-stroke, AF-stroke was associated with higher total (P<0.001) and acute hospital costs (P<0.001), and greater nursing home (P=0.001) and general practitioner (P<0.001) costs among 90-day survivors. After stratification by stroke severity in survivors, AF was associated with 2-fold increase in costs in patients with mild-moderate (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, 0-15) stroke (P<0.001) but not in severe stroke (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale ≥16; P=0.7). In our population study, AF-stroke was associated with substantially higher total, acute hospital, nursing home, and general practitioner costs per patient. Targeted programs to identify AF and prevent AF-stroke may have significant economic benefits, in addition to health benefits.
University College Dublin ->