A new report from the Stroke Alliance for Europe (SAFE), shows that if countries continue to fail to invest in stroke prevention, treatments and rehabilitation, the cost of stroke care across Europe could increase to €86 billion by 2040.
The study, named ‘At What Cost? The economic impact of stroke in Europe,’ was conducted by the health economic team at the University of Oxford (Oxford, UK). It included data on all stroke-related costs occurred in EU countries, with the addition of Iceland, Israel, Norway, Switzerland and the UK.
This the first study to include all the costs related to stroke as a whole, not limited to immediate healthcare costs, but also the cost of informal care and losses in productivity.
Ramon Luengo-Fernandez (University of Oxford, Oxford, UK), lead researcher on this study comments: “The research was completed before COVID-19. Since the beginning of the pandemic, health services across Europe have been diverted away from non-infectious conditions, including stroke care, therefore we feel that the projected costs in our report are likely to be even higher.”
Furthermore, the study also looks at three stroke interventions, which are in the latest guidelines – the treatment of atrial fibrillation to prevent stroke, mechanical thrombectomy, and community-based rehabilitation after stroke. This research suggests that regardless at which stage an intervention takes place, there are improvements for patient outcome, and for cost-saving.