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15.04.2016 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 4/2017

The European Journal of Health Economics 4/2017

Economic impact of patients admitted to stroke units in Spain

The European Journal of Health Economics > Ausgabe 4/2017
Jose Alvarez-Sabín, Manuel Quintana, Jaime Masjuan, Juan Oliva-Moreno, Javier Mar, Nuria Gonzalez-Rojas, Virginia Becerra, Covadonga Torres, María Yebenes, CONOCES Investigators Group
Wichtige Hinweise
Members of the CONOCES Investigators Group are listed in the Acknowledgments.



Stroke is a major social and health problem. However, since the recent incorporation of new advances in its management, little is known about the cost of stroke. The aim of this study is to find out the real cost of stroke in Spain.


This is an epidemiological, observational, prospective, multicenter study of patients diagnosed with stroke and admitted to a stroke unit. Patients were recruited from 16 hospitals throughout Spain and followed up for 1 year. Sociodemographic, clinical, and economic data were collected. Costs (€ 2012) were estimated from the social perspective and were divided into direct healthcare (inpatient, outpatient, and medication), direct non-healthcare (mainly formal and informal care) and labor productivity losses.


A total of 321 patients were included. Mean age was 72.1 years and 176 patients (54.8 %) were male. Total average cost per patient/year was €27,711. Direct healthcare costs amounted to €8491 per patient/year (68.8 % due to inpatient costs) and non-healthcare costs to an average of €18,643 per patient/year (89.5 % due to informal care). Productivity loss costs per patient/year were €276. Total costs of hemorrhagic strokes were slightly higher than ischemic (€28,895 vs. €27,569 per patient/year, p = 0.550) without significant differences. The main variables associated with higher costs were the presence of hypertension (€30,332 vs. €23,234 per patient/year, p < 0.05) and the severity of stroke (p < 0.05), both independently associated after a multivariate analysis.


The cost of patients admitted to stroke units in Spain is €27,711 per patient/year. More than two-thirds are social costs, mainly informal care. Stroke remains a major burden on health systems and society, so additional efforts are needed for its prevention.

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