Hospital costs associated with atrial fibrillation for ischemic stroke patients aged 18-64 years in the United States
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Hospital costs associated with atrial fibrillation for ischemic stroke patients aged 18-64 years in the United States

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      Background and purpose

      Hospital costs associated with atrial fibrillation (AFib) among stroke patients have not been well-studied, especially among people younger than 65 years. We estimated the AFib-associated hospital costs in U.S. patients aged 18-64 years.


      We identified hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of ischemic stroke from the 2010-2012 MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters inpatient datasets, excluding those with capitated health insurance plans, aged <18 or >64, missing geographic region, hospital costs below the 1st or above 99th percentile, and having carotid intervention (N=40,082). We searched the data for AFib and analyzed the costs for non-repeat and repeat stroke admissions separately. We estimated the AFib-associated costs using multivariate regression models controlling for age, sex, geographic region, and Charlson comorbidity index.


      Of the 33,500 non-repeat stroke admissions, 2,407 (7.2%) had AFib. Admissions with AFib cost $4,991 more than those without AFib ($23,770 vs. $18,779). For the 6,582 repeat stroke admissions, 397 (6.0%) had AFib. The costs were $3,260 more for those with AFib than those without ($24,119 vs. $20,929). After controlling for potential confounders, AFib-associated costs for non-repeat stroke admissions were $4,905, representing 20.6% of the total costs for the admissions. Both the hospital costs and the AFib-associated costs were associated with age, but not sex. AFib-associated costs for repeat stroke admissions were not significantly higher than for non-AFib patients, except for those aged 55-64 ($3,537).


      AFib increased the hospital cost of ischemic stroke substantially. Further investigation on AFib-associated costs for repeat stroke admissions is needed.

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