The Comparative Medical Costs of Atherothrombotic Disease in European Countries
Background: The clinical manifestations of atherothrombotic disease include ischaemic heart disease (including myocardial infarction [MI]) and cerebrovascular disease (including ischaemic stroke [IS]). Although costs generated by the clinical manifestations of atherothrombotic disease represent an important economic burden for any healthcare system, very few economic comparative data are available. Objective: To: (i) assess management costs of the different practice patterns for acute and chronic phases for MI, IS and peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in eight European countries; and (ii) to simulate the cost of managing a patient with an atherothrombotic disease for 2 years in Europe. Study perspective: Healthcare system. Methods: Firstly, the medical costs of managing MI and IS were analysed during the acute phase and subsequent 6-month periods over a total of 2 years. In each case, a decision tree was designed to indicate resource use. Assumptions concerning patient management and resource use were based on currently available local and international literature, official national statistics and local expert opinions (Delphi panel). Costs were assessed using diagnosis-related groups (Austria, Italy, Portugal and Sweden), or hospital databases and national tariffs (Belgium, France, Spain and Switzerland). Secondly, these costs were correlated to data from a large randomised clinical trial to estimate the overall cost per patient with atherothrombotic disease over a 2-year period. Results: For MI, there was a 2-fold difference in costs between the eight countries ( Conclusions: There are differences in the overall costs and cost breakdown in the clinical management patterns of MI and IS in Europe. These differences seem to arise as a result of local treatment pattern specificities as well as the availability of specific and well-adapted structures for patients
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