Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Economic Burden of Atrial Fibrillation: A Comprehensive Examination and Pathways to Efficient Care

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Atrial fibrillation (AF) is recognized as the most prevalent cardiac arrhythmia, its incidence and prevalence escalating due to progressively aging populations. The costs associated with AF are both direct and indirect. The main cost drivers of AF have been identified, the potential economic impact resulting from changes in care strategies assessed, and the areas where interventions are most needed proposed.

To determine the cost of illness in cases of AF, a systematic literature search of the PubMed and Scopus databases was carried out. The search strategy adhered to the PRISMA 2020 recommendations. A total of 944 articles were retrieved, out of which 24 met the inclusion criteria and were conducted across various countries.

Atrial Fibrillation

Uncovering the Economic Impact of Atrial Fibrillation and Strategies for Cost Mitigation

All of the studies calculated the direct medical costs, while only a third assessed the indirect costs. The median annual direct medical cost per patient was found to be €9,409 (13,333 US dollars in purchasing power parities). However, there was significant variability due to the heterogeneity of different analyses. Hospitalization costs were identified as the main cost drivers in most cases.

The presence of comorbidities and complications, such as stroke, were found to considerably increase the average annual direct medical cost of AF. Inpatient care cost was the primary component of the mean direct medical cost per patient in the majority of the studies analyzed.

Interventions are necessary to manage comorbidities like stroke and heart failure, as these account for a large share of the total costs. By implementing guidelines to manage such comorbidities in AF, both health improvement and mitigation of healthcare costs are achievable.


Original Article DOI: 10.1016/j.jval.2023.12.015

Original title: The Cost of Atrial Fibrillation: A Systematic Review

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