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Annual costs of stroke in US children at least $42 million
Date:7/9/2009

Stroke in children costs at least $42 million annually in the United States, researchers report in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

In the first cost analysis of pediatric stroke in the United States, researchers reviewed data from U.S. children age 0 to 20 who used hospital inpatient services. The database, the Kid's Inpatient Database (KID 2003), recorded 2,224 strokes.

"This is just the upfront cost the initial stroke care of these children not the long-term care cost," said Warren Lo, M.D., lead author of the study and associate professor of pediatrics and neurology at The Ohio State University and pediatric neurologist at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Many other expenses will arise for those caring for a child recovering from a stroke, including transportation and lodging near a hospital with the capability to treat pediatric stroke; rehabilitation, if necessary; and missed time from work for caregivers.

"It's expensive for a kid to have a stroke," Lo said. "We must find more effective treatment earlier, better treatment that can reduce cost for kids staying in hospitals."

The study found:

  • Acute treatment results in an average hospital stay of 8.3 days, costing almost $21,000.
  • Strokes characterized by bleeding between the brain and skull (subarachnoid hemorrhage) resulted in an 11.2-day hospital stay and cost a average of more than $31,000.
  • The hospital stay for bleeding inside the brain (intracerebral hemorrhage) averaged 9.6 days and cost an average of more than $24,000.
  • Ischemic stroke (caused by a blockage in a blood vessel in or leading to the brain) averaged a 6.6 day stay and $15,000 in costs.

Costs were higher at government/public hospitals and urban teaching hospitals. Also, costs were highest in the western United States and lowest in the South, researchers said.

Of the total, 22 percent were subarachnoid h
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Contact: Bridgette McNeill
bridgette.mcneill@heart.org
214-706-1135
American Heart Association
Source:Eurekalert

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