Hospital and clinical care costs associated with atrial fibrillation for Medicare beneficiaries in the Cardiovascular Health Study and the Framingham Heart Study.
Background: Atrial fibrillation is increasingly prevalent as the US population ages and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Care for patients with atrial fibrillation can be costly, US health care costs are comparatively high, and there are few cost estimates available that incorporate detailed measurement of comorbidities and their effects on costs. Methods and Results: In the Cardiovascular Health Study and the Framingham Heart Study, participants aged 65 years or older with newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation were matched on age and follow-up time to referents free of atrial fibrillation. The total clinical and hospital medical costs paid by Medicare Parts A and B (drug costs from Medicare Part D costs were not included) in the year prior to diagnosis (or matching) were compared with costs in the following year. Estimates were adjusted for other medical conditions and adjusted to 2009 dollars. In the Cardiovascular Health Study, 513 participants were diagnosed with new-onset atrial fibrillation and survived 30 days post-atrial fibrillation diagnosis, and 513 referents (as a control cohort) were identified, with a mean age of 77 years. In the Framingham Heart Study, we identified 336 participants diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, who survived 30 days post-atrial fibrillation diagnosis and matched these participants to 336 referents. We compared these new-onset atrial fibrillation participants with referents, using a difference in difference design to account for both time trends and differences between the two groups. The adjusted incremental cost for participants with atrial fibrillation, compared with referents, was US$18,060 (95% confidence interval: US$14,965-US$21,155) in the Cardiovascular Health Study and US$20,012 (95% confidence interval: US$15,057-US$24,966) in the Framingham Heart Study. The pooled estimate was US$18,601 (95% confidence interval: US$15,981-US$21,234). Conclusion: Atrial fibrillation was associated with increased costs in the year after diagnosis in two community-based cohorts, even after careful accounting for age, time period, and systematically measured comorbidities.
Delaney, JA; Yin, X; Fontes, JD; Wallace, ER; Skinner, A; Wang, N; Hammill, BG; Benjamin, EJ; Curtis, LH; Heckbert, SR
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