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.
- Heart failure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine