Economic burden of stroke across Europe: A population-based cost analysis

Ramon Luengo-Fernandez, Mara Violato, Paolo Candio, Jose Leal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: In 2017, 1.5 million people were diagnosed with stroke, 9 million were living with stroke and 0.4 million died because of stroke in 32 European countries. We estimate the economic burden of stroke across these countries in 2017.

Patients and methods: In a population-based cost analysis, we evaluated the cost of stroke. We estimated overall health and social care costs from expenditure on care in the primary, outpatient, emergency, inpatient and nursing/residential care settings, and pharmaceuticals. Additionally, we estimated the costs of unpaid care provided by relatives or friends of patients, lost earnings due to premature death and costs associated with individuals who temporarily or permanently left employment because of illness.

Results: In 2017 stroke cost the 32 European countries under analysis €60 billion, with health care accounting for €27 billion (45%), representing 1.7% of health expenditure. Adding the costs of social care (€5 billion), annual stroke-related care costs were equivalent to €59 per citizen, varying from €11 in Bulgaria to €140 in Finland. Productivity losses cost €12 billion, equally split between early death and lost working days. A total of €1.3 billion hours of informal care were provided to stroke survivors, costing Europe €16 billion.

Conclusion: Our study provides a snapshot of the economic consequences posed by stroke to 32 European countries in 2017. It also strengthens and updates the evidence we have gathered over the last 15 years, indicating that the costs of stroke are rising, partly due to an ageing population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-25
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Stroke Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


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