There is only scarce information on the incidence and costs of stroke in Belgium. Knowledge of these figures permits targeted allocation of resources and aids cost efficacy estimates.
We analysed a nationwide administrative database used for reimbursement of hospitals in Belgium. This database allows analysis of the rate of all hospital admissions for TIA, acute ischemic stroke, intracranial hemorrhage and carotid surgery or angioplasty. We compared the costs of hospitalization for stroke and related disorders with the costs of hospitalization for coronary artery disease.
There were 30963 admissions for stroke related disorders in 2007 at a cost of 191.6 million EUROS. There was a decline of 4.7% of the rate of hospitalization for stroke and associated disorders over the period 2002-2007. Despite this decline the total costs did not diminish substantially. In 2007 stroke and related disorders accounted for 2.0% of all Belgian hospitalizations, whereas coronary artery disease hospitalization accounted for 4.4%. The length of stay was longer for stroke and associated disorders. The average cost of hospitalizations in 2007 for stroke related disorders was 6188 EURO and the average cost of coronary artery related disorders was 5026 EURO.
The cost of hospitalization for stroke and related disorders is high. Although coronary artery disease is more frequent and has a larger impact on the health care expenditures, the average cost per hospitalization is higher for stroke and related diseases. This is mainly due to the longer hospitalization duration for stroke.