Current costs of heart failure in Portugal and expected increases due to population aging

Miguel Rebordão de Almeida Gouveia, Raquel Maria Sousa e Silva Ascenção, Francesca Fiorentino, João Nuno Marques Parracho Guerra da Costa, Paula Maria Broeiro-Gonçalves, Maria Cândida Faustino Gamito da Fonseca, Margarida de Fátima Palma Feria Borges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES: Heart failure (HF) is a growing public health problem. This study estimates the current and future costs of HF in mainland Portugal.

METHODS: Costs were estimated based on prevalence and from a societal perspective. The annual costs of HF included direct costs (resource consumption) and indirect costs (productivity losses). Estimates were mostly based on data from the Diagnosis-Related Groups database, real-world data from primary care, and the opinions of an expert panel. Costs were estimated for 2014 and, taking population aging into account, changes were forecast up to 2036.

RESULTS: Direct costs in 2014 were €299 million (39% for hospitalizations, 24% for medicines, 17% for exams and tests, 16% for consultations, and the rest for other needs, including emergencies and long-term care). Indirect costs were €106 million (16% for absenteeism and 84% for reduced employment). Between 2014 and 2036, due to demographic dynamics, total costs will increase from €405 to €503 million. Per capita costs are estimated to rise by 34%, which is higher than the increase in total costs (+24%), due to the expected reduction in the resident population.

CONCLUSIONS: HF currently has a significant economic impact, representing around 2.6% of total public health expenditure, and this is expected to increase in the future. This should be taken into account by health policy makers, alerting them to the need for resource management in order to mitigate the impact of this disease.

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