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Forecasting the Future of Stroke in the United States

July 22, 2013
by Bruce Ovbiagele, MD, MSc, MAS, FAHA, Chair; Larry B. Goldstein, MD, FAHA; Randall T. Higashida, MD, FAHA; Virginia J. Howard, PhD, FAHA; S. Claiborne Johnston, MD, PhD; Olga A. Khavjou, MA; Daniel T. Lackland, DrPH, MSPH, FAHA; Judith H. Lichtman, Ph
Stroke

A Policy Statement From the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association

Abstract

Background and Purpose—Stroke is a leading cause of disability, cognitive impairment, and death in the United States and accounts for 1.7% of national health expenditures. Because the population is aging and the risk of stroke more than doubles for each successive decade after the age of 55 years, these costs are anticipated to rise dramatically. The objective of this report was to project future annual costs of care for stroke from 2012 to 2030 and discuss potential cost reduction strategies.

Methods and Results—The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association developed methodology to project the future costs of stroke-related care. Estimates excluded costs associated with other cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, coronary heart disease, and congestive heart failure). By 2030, 3.88% of the US population >18 years of age is projected to have had a stroke. Between 2012 and 2030, real (2010$) total direct annual stroke-related medical costs are expected to increase from $71.55 billion to $183.13 billion. Real indirect annual costs (attributable to lost productivity) are projected to rise from $33.65 billion to $56.54 billion over the same period. Overall, total annual costs of stroke are projected to increase to $240.67 billion by 2030, an increase of 129%.

Conclusions—These projections suggest that the annual costs of stroke will increase substantially over the next 2 decades. Greater emphasis on implementing effective preventive, acute care, and rehabilitative services will have both medical and societal benefits. (Stroke. 2013;44:2361-2375.)

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