Burden of disease and cost of illness of atrial fibrillation in Portugal

Miguel Gouveia*, João Costa, Joana Alarcão, Margarida Augusto, Daniel Caldeira, Luís Pinheiro, António Vaz Carneiro, Margarida Borges

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction and Objectives: Atrial fibrillation is the most prevalent sustained arrhythmia. This paper estimates the burden and cost of illness attributable to atrial fibrillation in Portugal based on demographic and health statistics.
Methods: Mortality data by cause of death came from the European Detailed Mortality Database of the World Health Organization (WHO). Hospital data were taken from the Portuguese diagnosis-related groups database. The burden of disease was measured using DALYs (disability-adjusted life years), a metric adopted by the WHO. Costs studied included resource use and lost productivity. The burden and cost of illness are those attributable to atrial fibrillation and its main complication, ischemic stroke. Results: In Portugal, 4070 deaths were attributable to atrial fibrillation in 2010, corresponding to 3.8% of all deaths. In total, the burden of disease attributable to atrial fibrillation was estimated at 23 084 DALYs: 10 521 resulting from premature deaths (1.7% of the total DALYs due to death in 2010 in Portugal), and 12 563 resulting from disability. The total estimated direct costs attributable to atrial fibrillation at 2013 prices were €115 million: €34 million for inpatient care and €81 million for outpatient care. Indirect costs resulting from lost production due to disability were estimated at €25 million. Conclusions: Atrial fibrillation has an important social impact in Portugal due to its associated mortality and morbidity, and was responsible in 2013 for a total cost of €140 million, about 0.08% of gross domestic product.
Translated title of the contributionCarga e custo da fibrilhação auricular em Portugal
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalRevista Portuguesa de Cardiologia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Cerebro vascular disease
  • Cost of illness
  • Burden of disease
  • Disability-adjusted life years Burden


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