Five-year clinical and economic outcomes among patients with medically managed severe aortic stenosis: Results from a medicare claims analysis

Mary Ann Clark, Suzanne V. Arnold, Francis G. Duhay, Ann K. Thompson, Michelle J. Keyes, Lars G. Svensson, Robert O. Bonow, Benjamin T. Stockwell, David J. Cohen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Background: Patients with severe, symptomatic aortic stenosis, who do not undergo valve replacement surgery have a poor long-term prognosis. Limited data exist on the medical resource utilization and costs during the final stages of the disease. Methods and Results: We used data from the 2003 Medicare 5% standard analytic fles to identify patients with aortic stenosis and a recent hospitalization for heart failure, who did not undergo valve replacement surgery within the ensuing 2 calendar quarters. These patients (n=2150) were considered to have medically managed severe aortic stenosis and were tracked over 5 years to measure clinical outcomes, medical resource use, and costs (from the perspective of the Medicare Program). The mean age of the cohort was 82 years, 64% were female, and the estimated logistic European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation (EuroSCORE) (a measure of predicted mortality with cardiac surgery) was 17%. During 5 years of follow-up, overall mortality was 88.4% with a mean survival duration of 1.8 years. During this time period, patients experienced an average of 4.4 hospital admissions, 52% were admitted to skilled nursing care, and 28% were admitted to hospice care. The total 5-year costs were $63 844 per patient, whereas mean annual follow-up costs (excluding the index quarter) per year alive were $29 278. Conclusions: Elderly patients with severe aortic stenosis undergoing medical management have limited long-term survival and incur substantial costs to the Medicare Program. These results have important implications for policy makers interested in better understanding the cost-effectiveness of emerging treatment options such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)697-704
Number of pages8
JournalCirculation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Cost
  • Epidemiology
  • Heart failure
  • Medicare
  • Valves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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