Compared with the direct costs, the indirect costs of stroke may be larger contributors to the socioeconomic burden of stroke, and the need to better understand the indirect costs of stroke is well established. We investigated the indirect costs of stroke according to a novel outcome, the use of stroke-related income supplements, in a Finnish cohort of working-aged patients.
Consecutive patients (n = 230) who experienced a first-ever ischemic stroke were recruited. Demographic, clinical, and cognitive function data (which were measured using clinical neuropsychological assessments) were collected at baseline and at 6-month and 2-year follow-ups. Data on the use of income supplements within the first 3 years of the stroke were retrieved from national insurance registry files and used to construct survival models.
Stroke patients used a mean of 11 months of stroke-related income supplements; this use was associated with atrial fibrillation, cognitive impairment, prestroke income supplement use, higher National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale scores, lower Barthel Index scores, and increased lesion sizes. In multivariate survival models, atrial fibrillation and cognitive impairment were the factors most strongly associated with the use of stroke-related income supplements.
Using stroke-related income supplement data to quantify poststroke productivity losses allowed a working-aged cohort to be investigated without inclusion restrictions based on occupational status or other factors; the use of these data as an outcome emphasized the well-known detrimental effects of atrial fibrillation and cognitive impairment on stroke outcome. The results support stroke-related income supplement use as a complementary outcome for understanding stroke-related productivity losses.
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Published online: June 18, 2015
Accepted: March 8, 2015
Received in revised form: February 25, 2015
Received: October 9, 2014
This study was funded by The Finnish Social Insurance Institution's (KELA's) Research Department and the Finnish Cultural Foundation's Lapland Regional Fund.
© 2015 National Stroke Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.