Atrial fibrillation and the cost of preventable strokes
Deloitte Access Economics has quantified the extent of atrial fibrillation and the economic and patient burden of associated strokes in Australia for Boehringer Ingelheim.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common type of heart arrhythmia (rhythm disorder). People with AF have an irregular heartbeat which causes inefficient blood flow and through the formation of emboli (blood clots), may result in stroke. Most people with AF need medicines to prevent strokes.
However, many are undiagnosed or receive no treatment at all despite initiatives to improve this. Ineffective or no stroke prevention treatment leads to even more strokes, poor outcomes for patients and is costly to the Australian health system. There is a clinical need for more efficacious stroke prevention medicines.
Boehringer Ingelheim commissioned this report from Deloitte Access Economics in the interests of improved stroke prevention among Australians with atrial fibrillation. The aim of this report is to quantify the extent of AF and the economic and patient burden of associated strokes in Australia and to assess how current clinical practice can be improved to reduce this burden.
Deloitte Access Economics estimates there to be 506,045 people aged 50 years and older in Australia with AF in 2011, a prevalence of 7.0% within this age group. This includes 456,511 people with non-valvular atrial fibrillation, including 259,057 people at high stroke risk, 138,539 people with moderate stroke risk and 58,915 people at low stroke risk.
Better stroke prevention treatment and greater diagnosis in patients with AF can potentially prevent strokes and avert costs to patients and the Australian health care system.
Published: September 2011