Projected costs of ischemic stroke in the United States

Background: There are barriers to acute stroke care in minority groups as well as a higher incidence of ischemic stroke when compared with non-Hispanic whites. Objective: To estimate the future economic burden of stroke in non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics, and African Americans in the United States from 2005 to 2050. Methods: We used U.S. Census estimates of the race-ethnic group populations age 45 years and older. We obtained stroke epidemiology and service utilization data from the Northern Manhattan Stroke Study and the Brain Attack Surveillance in Corpus Christi project and other published data. We estimated costs directly from Medicare reimbursement or from studies that used Medicare reimbursement. Direct and indirect costs considered included ambulance services, initial hospitalization, rehabilitation, nursing home costs, outpatient clinic visits, drugs, informal caregiving, and potential lost earnings. Results: The total cost of stroke from 2005 to 2050, in 2005 dollars, is projected to be $1.52 trillion for non-Hispanic whites, $313 billion for Hispanics, and $379 billion for African Americans. The per capita cost of stroke estimates are highest in African Americans ($25,782), followed by Hispanics ($17,201), and non-Hispanic whites ($15,597). Loss of earnings is expected to be the highest cost contributor in each race-ethnic group. Conclusions: The economic burden of stroke in African Americans and Hispanics will be enormous over the next several decades. Further efforts to improve stroke prevention and treatment in these high stroke risk groups are necessary. (C)2006 American Academy of Neurology;