Background The prevalence of heart failure (HF) and its economic burden are increasing with age of the South Korean population. This study aimed to assess the economic impact of HF from the societal perspective. Methods A prevalence-based, incremental cost-of-patient study was performed to estimate the cost ratio between patients with HF and those without HF based on the claims database of the national health insurance in South Korea. We defined adult HF patients as those aged 19 years who had at least one insurance claim record with a primary or secondary diagnosis of HF. Age- and gender-matched controls were defined using a 1:4 greedy matching method. Costs were estimated by including medical costs for insurance-covered and non-covered services, transportation costs, caregiver’s cost, and time costs of patients. The ratio of costs between patients with HF and those without HF was adjusted for age, gender, and type of universal health security program in the multivariate regression model. Results The average annual per-capita cost was estimated to be $6,601 for patients with HF (n = 14,252), which is about 3.38 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.31–3.46) times higher than that for patients without HF (n = 1,116,882) and 1.64 (95% CI: 1.59–1.70) times higher than that for the age- and gender-matched patients without HF (n = 57,008). In the multivariate regression model, the annual per-capita total costs were 1.98-fold (95% CI: 1.94–2.02) statistically higher for patients with HF than for patients without HF after adjustment for age, gender, and type of universal health security program. Conclusions This study demonstrates a significant incremental burden of HF. Given that the prevalence of HF is expected to increase with an increase in the aging population, the national economic burden is expected to be substantial in the future. Thus, greater emphasis on the prevention and treatment of HF is warranted.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)