We sought to evaluate the short- and long-term resource use and costs associated with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) taken from an entire population. We in addition sought to evaluate the association of oral anticoagulation (OAC) and health care costs.
This was a retrospective cohort study of adult patients (≥18 years) with ICH in the entire population of Ontario, Canada (2009–2017). We captured outcomes through linkage to health administrative databases. We used generalized linear models to identify factors associated with total cost. Analysis of OAC use was limited to patients ≥66 years of age. The primary outcome was total 1-year direct health care costs in 2020 US dollars.
Among 16,248 individuals with ICH (mean age 71.2 years, male 52.3%), 1-year mortality was 46.0%, and 24.2% required mechanical ventilation. The median total 1-year cost was $26,886 (interquartile range [IQR] $9,641–$62,907) with costs for those who died in hospital of $7,268 (IQR $4,031–$14,966) vs $44,969 (IQR $20,264–$82,414, p < 0.001) for survivors to discharge. OAC use (analysis limited to individuals ≥66 years old) was associated with higher total 1-year costs (cost ratio 1.06 [95% confidence interval 1.01–1.11]). Total 1-year costs for the entire cohort exceeded $120 million per year over the study period.
ICH is associated with significant health care costs, and the median cost of a patient with ICH is roughly 10 times the median inpatient cost in Ontario. Costs were higher among survivors than deceased patients. OAC use is independently associated with increased costs. To maximize cost-effectiveness, future therapies for ICH must aim to reduce disability, not only improve mortality.