Cost of Informal Caregiving Associated with Stroke among Elderly in the United States
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Cost of Informal Caregiving Associated with Stroke among Elderly in the United States

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      We estimated the informal caregiving hours and costs associated with stroke.


      We selected persons aged 65 and older in 2006 and who were also included in the 2008 follow-up survey from the Health and Retirement Study. We adapted the case-control study design by using self-reported occurrence of an initial stroke event during 2006 and 2008 to classify persons into the stroke (case) and the non-stroke (control) groups. We compared informal caregiving hours between case and control groups in 2006 (pre-stroke period for case group) and in 2008 (post-stroke period for case group) and estimated incremental informal caregiving hours attributable to stroke by applying a difference-in-differences technique to propensity-score matched populations. We used a replacement approach to estimate the economic value of informal caregiving.


      The weekly incremental informal caregiving hours attributable to stroke were 8.5 hours per patient. The economic value of informal caregiving per stroke survivor was $8,211 per year, of which $4,356 (53%) was attributable to stroke. At the national level, the annual economic burden of informal caregiving associated with stroke among elderly was estimated at $14.2 billion in 2008.


      Recent changes in public health and social support policies recognize the economic burden of informal caregiving. Our estimates reinforce the high economic burden of stroke in the US and provide up-to-date information for policy development and decision-making.

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