Donate to Science & Enterprise

S&E on Mastodon

S&E on LinkedIn

S&E on Flipboard

Please share Science & Enterprise

Costs to Support Stroke Survivors Stay High for 10 Years

Dominique Cadilhac

Dominique Cadilhac (Monash University)

24 October 2014. Researchers at Monash University in Australia calculated long-term costs to stroke patients, finding the financial burden on patients and their care givers remains significant for 10 years following the stroke episode. The team led by Monash medical school professor Dominique Cadilhac reported its findings in yesterday’s issue of the journal Stroke (paid subscription required).

Cadilhac, with colleagues at Monash and affiliated institutions in Australia, sought a longer-term estimation of financial burdens faced by stroke patients to reflect longer survival periods with the condition. According to the New York Times, more than 3 in 4 of patients survive a first stroke during the first year, and more than half survive beyond 5 years. Previous studies offered financial estimates as long as 5 years, indicating costs were highest in the first year after the episode, while declining in subsequent years.

The researchers were particularly interested in uncovering differences between costs incurred by people experiencing ischemic strokes, where arteries to the brain narrow and become blocked, and hemorrhagic stroke, where blood vessels in the brain become weak and rupture. About 85 percent of strokes are ischemic strokes.

The team sampled 286 patients as part of the ongoing North East Melbourne Stroke Incidence Study, or Nemesis, with 243 patients having an ischemic stroke and 43 experiencing a hemorrhagic stroke. Data from interviews with patients were combined with population statistics from 2010 and applied to cost-of-illness models. The models were adjusted to account for a larger sampling area than previous Nemesis collections and new rates for 10-year survival and recurrence of strokes.

Cadilhac and colleagues found costs incurred by patients average $US 4,764 per year over 10 years for ischemic strokes, compared to $5,365 per year for hemorrhagic strokes. While the costs incurred by people with ischemic strokes after 10 years are comparable to the costs experienced in years 3 to 5 following the episode, costs for people with hemorrhagic strokes after 10 years are 24 percent higher than in years 3 to 5. The higher long-term costs for hemorrhagic stroke patients are attributed to the greater need for assisted-living facilities.

The researchers also found medication costs for all stroke patients rise over the 10 year survival period, accounting for 13 percent of expenses after 5 years, compared to 20 percent of the total after 10 years.

“We now have a much better picture of the long term costs of stroke,” says Cadilhac in a university statement. “Our research confirms there is no decline in costs beyond 5 years for survivors of stroke, in fact medical and other costs including those incurred by care givers continue for many years.”

Read more:

*     *     *

Comments are closed.