Abstract 19839: Clinical and Economic Burden of Rheumatic Heart Disease in Low-Income Nations: Estimating the Cost-of-Illness in India and Uganda
Introduction: Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) strikes young adults at their peak economic productivity. Defining the global economic burden of RHD may motivate investments in research and prevention, yet prior approaches considering only medical costs may have underestimated the cost of illness.
Objectives: To estimate the clinical and economic burden of RHD in India and Uganda. Outcomes were disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), direct medical costs, and indirect costs due to disability and premature mortality (2012 USD).
Methods: We used a discrete-state Markov model to simulate the natural history of RHD using country-, age-, and gender-specific estimates from the literature and census data. We estimated direct medical costs from WHO-CHOICE and Disease Control and Prevention 3 publications. We conservatively estimated indirect costs (lost earnings and imputed caregiver costs) from World Bank data using novel economic methods.
Results: In 2012, RHD generated 6.1 million DALYs in India and cost USD 10.7 billion (Table 1), including 1.8 billion in direct medical costs and 8.9 billion in indirect costs. During the same period, RHD produced 216,000 DALYs in Uganda, and cost USD 414 million, and, as in India, indirect costs represented the majority (88%) of the cost of illness. In both countries, women accounted for the majority (71-80%) of the DALYs; in Uganda, women bore 75% of the total cost. In sensitivity analyses, higher progression rates for subclinical disease doubled direct costs and DALYs.
Conclusion: RHD exacts an enormous toll on the populations of India and Uganda, and its economic burden may be grossly underestimated if indirect costs are not systematically included. Women bear a disproportionate clinical burden from pregnancy-related complications. These results suggest that effective prevention and screening of RHD may represent a sound public health investment, particularly if targeted at high-risk subgroups such as young women.
Author Disclosures: A.T. Sandhu: None. K. G: None. A. Bolger: None. E. Okello: None. D.S. Kazi: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.