Background: Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) carries a substantial mortality and morbidity burden. The purpose of this study is to provide annual mean cost per patient and national level estimates of direct and indirect costs (lost productivity from morbidity and premature mortality) associated with AMI. Methods: Nationally representative data spanning 12 years (2003-2014) with a sample of 324,869 patients with AMI from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) were analyzed. A novel 2-part model was used to examine the excess direct cost associated with AMI, controlling for covariates. To estimate lost productivity from morbidity, an adjusted Generalized Linear Model was used for the differential in wage earnings between participants with and without AMI. Lost productivity from premature mortality was estimated based on published data. Results: The total annual cost of AMI in 2016 dollars was estimated to be $84.9 billion, including $29.8 billion in excess direct medical expenditures, $14.6 billion in lost productivity from morbidity and $40.5 billion in lost productivity from premature mortality between 2003 and 2014. In the adjusted regression, the overall excess direct medical expenditure of AMI was $7,076 (95% confidence interval [CI] $6,028-$8,125) higher than those without AMI. After adjustment, annual wages for patients with AMI were $10,166 (95% CI −$12,985 to −$7,347) lower and annual missed work days were 5.9 days (95% CI 3.57-8.27) higher than those without AMI. Conclusions: The study finds that the economic burden of AMI is substantial, for which effective prevention could result in significant health and productivity cost savings.
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