Estimation of Total Incremental Health Care Costs in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation in the United States
What is the cost burden of atrial fibrillation (AF) in the United States?
The costs of medical care for 89,066 patients with AF were obtained by review of the MarketScan Commercial and Medicare supplemental research databases. The per capita incremental cost attributable to AF was determined by comparison with matched control patients without AF. An estimate for the national cost was derived based on estimates of the prevalence of AF in 2010.
The mean annual cost of inpatient care was $7,841 in the AF group and $2,622 in the control group. The mean annual cost of outpatient care was $9,225 in the AF group and $5,629 in the control group. Outpatient pharmacy costs were $3,605 and $3,714 in the AF and control groups, respectively. The incremental annual cost of AF per patient was $8,705. Based on an estimate of 3.5 million individuals with AF in 2010, the national cost burden of AF was $6 billion. When including other cardiovascular and noncardiovascular costs associated with AF, the national cost burden of AF was estimated to be $26 billion.
The authors concluded that the national cost burden of AF in the United States in 2010 was in the range of $6-26 billion.
Prior studies have indicated that the prevalence of AF in the United States is gradually increasing, not only because of an increase in average age of the population, but also because of age-independent factors such as obesity. It seems inevitable that the cost burden of AF will continue to climb.
Keywords: Health Care Costs, Obesity, Medicare, Hospitalization, Cost of Illness, United States
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