The prevalence of spasticity after first-ever stroke is approximately 20%, but there are no health economic studies on costs associated with spasticity after stroke. The objective of our study was to estimate direct costs of stroke with spasticity for patients surviving up to 1 year after the stroke event in comparison to costs of stroke without spasticity.
A representative sample of patients with first-ever stroke hospitalized at Uppsala University Hospital was eligible for our cross-sectional survey. All direct costs during 1 year were identified for each patient, including costs for hospitalization (acute and rehabilitation), primary health care, medication, and costs for municipality services. Swedish currency was converted to Purchasing Power Parities US dollar (PPP$).
Median age (interquartile range) was 73 years (18), and the proportion of women was 48%. The majority of the direct costs (78%) was associated with hospitalization, whereas 20% was associated with municipality services during 1 year after a first-ever stroke. Only 1% of all direct costs were related to primary health care and 1% to medication. The level of costs for patients with stroke was correlated with the presence of spasticity as measured with the modified Ashworth scale (r(s)=0.524) and with the degree of disability as measured with modified Rankin Scale (r(s)=0.624). The mean (median, interquartile range) direct cost for stroke patients with spasticity was PPP$ 84,195 (72,116, 53,707) compared with PPP$ 21,842 (12,385, 17,484) for patients with stroke without spasticity (P