The Painful Costs Of Angina Pectoris

2011-08-11 | |
Last updated: 2011-08-11

What Are The Costs of Angina?

Diagnosis and Physicians Costs

In looking at the dollar costs of Angina, it is also important to understand what makes Angina expensive. The first reason why Angina is costly was mentioned above and that is that, in general, chest pain represents a large potential health risk. As a consequence, patients with any chest pain must be evaluated. This immediately means that a significant number of people need to be tested. Based on numbers from the UK in 2008, 13% of the annual costs of Angina are associated with physician’s visits.

Diagnosis and Hospitalization Costs

However, with more the 400 known causes of chest pain, diagnosis is often complicated. This means that a number of tests can be required to determine if the cause of the pain is due to a heart attack, heart disease or some less serious condition. For example acid reflux or GERD can present chest pain very similar to Angina. This can mean hospital stays are needed for tests and patient observation. According to the same British numbers, hospitals stays accounted for 29% of the costs of Angina.

Why these costs are so high can be understood when we look at the effort involved in trying to understand the cause of chest pain. According to research by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality roughly 22% of patients who come to emergency rooms with chest pains are admitted to the hospital for observation and treatment. In total, the research found that non-specific chest pain was the fourth most common cause for emergency room visits.

If we look at the same types of statistics from the UK, 66% of patients with chest pain are admitted for observation. Other UK research published in the British Medical Journal in 2005 specifically estimated that 6% of hospital workload was associated with Angina. While the hospital costs are certainly higher in the UK due to the higher rate of patient admission, the US numbers are still high as well.

Treatment Costs

Subsequently if we look at the costs of treating Angina, we see ongoing medications costs and expensive surgeries. Treatments such as angioplasty to insert a balloon into the arteries to expand them require the skills of a surgeon. Heart bypass surgeries that use arteries from other parts of the body to replace those that are clogged are complicated and costly. In total, these treatments account for 53% of the costs of Angina in the UK or some $750 million US dollars in 2008.

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Category: Disease Information, General Health, Health Risks, Symptom Information

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