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The cost of stroke in the United Kingdom

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Introduction: this study aims to quantify the annual cost of illness of stroke to the UK economy. Methods: we estimate the cost of stroke from a societal perspective. Direct care costs include diagnosis, inpatient care and outpatient care. Income loss and social benefit payments to stroke patients are accounted for in the indirect cost calculations. Data from South London Stroke Register and a number of other national sources are used. Sensitivity analysis was carried out to account for the variability in the data used. Results: the treatment of and productivity loss arising from stroke results in total societal costs of £8.9 billion a year, with treatment costs accounting for approximately 5% of total UK NHS costs. Direct care accounts for approximately 50% of the total, informal care costs 27% and the indirect costs 24%. Sensitivity analysis did not alter the estimate of total costs significantly for most of the variables except using of differing prevalence rates. Conclusions: stroke incurs considerable societal costs. Our calculations show a high sensitivity to the underlying prevalence rates used. The findings highlight a need for further economic evaluations to ensure that there is an efficient use of resources devoted to the treatment of this disease.

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