Two-year direct medical costs of stroke in Korea: a multi-centre incidence-based study from hospital perspectives


  • Conflict of interest: None declared.
  • Source of fund: The study was financially supported by Korea Pfizer and by a grant of the Korea Healthcare Technology R&D Project, Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs, Republic of Korea (A080201).

Correspondence: Jong S. Kim, Stroke Center and Department of Neurology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Songpa-gu, Seoul 138-736, Korea.




Despite increasing socio-economic burden of stroke, few studies have investigated the costs associated with the stroke care in Korea. We estimated the two-year direct medical costs associated with stroke.


This was a multi-centre, incidence-based, retrospective observational study. We examined the records of all adult patients who were admitted in eight large hospitals throughout Korea due to acute stroke [I60: sub-arachnoid haemorrhage; I61: intracerebral haemorrhage; I62: other nontraumatic haemorrhage; I63: cerebral infarction, by The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD)-10] between 1 November and 31 December 2006. Direct medical inpatient and outpatient cost of each patient was extracted from the medical record and the reimbursement claim data of the hospital.


Out of 908 studied patients (14% diagnosed as I60, 18% as I61, 3% as I62, and 65% as I63), 460 (50·7%) were assessed for more than one-year. The annual average direct medical costs were Korean math formula 8 114 471 US$8732) for the first year, and Korean math formula 431 527 for the second year. The first year costs for haemorrhagic stroke (I60–I62) (Korean math formula 13 090 179) were significantly higher than those associated with cerebral infarction (I63) (Korean math formula 5 460 459), whereas the second year costs were not different. Factors independently associated with high cost were female gender, young age, and first stroke.


Direct medical costs for stroke in Korea were determined, which seem to be lower than those of other developed countries. Female gender, young age, and first stroke were factors related to higher stroke cost.