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Data suggests that patients with transthyretin cardiomyopathy (ATTR-CM) have short survival times and high medical costs. One study assessed the burden of disease and medical costs for patients with ATTR-CM.

Transthyretin cardiomyopathy (ATTR-CM) is an underdiagnosed disease with a poor prognosis that generally affects patients over the age of 60. Because of differences in genotype distribution, information on the incidence of ATTR-CM and the demographic characteristics of patients may differ by country. Furthermore, studies on the disease’s medical costs, clinical outcomes, and mortality are lacking.

A recent study in Korea sought newly diagnosed ATTR-CM patients from the Korean National Health Insurance Service between 2013 and 2018. Patient characteristics included comorbidities, medical procedures, and medication use. Healthcare resource utilization and medical costs were observed as measures of the economic burden.

A total of 175 newly diagnosed ATTR-CM patients were identified. The most common cardiac manifestation was hypertension (51.3%), while musculoskeletal disease was the most common non-cardiac manifestation (68.0%). At the post-cohort entry date, medical costs were much higher than they were at the pre-cohort entry date ($1,864 vs. $400 per patient per month).

During the time of the study, 12.9 times as much money was spent on inpatients as on outpatients. The median survival time from the first diagnosis of ATTR-CM was 3.53 years, and the mean years of potential life lost was 13.0.

This study confirmed previous findings of a low survival rate and high medical costs in patients with ATTR-CM. Examining disease manifestations thoroughly can therefore aid in early diagnosis and treatment. Since new treatments that change the course of the disease have recently been approved, early diagnosis and treatment may help ATTR-CM patients live longer and reduce healthcare costs.

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Jang, S. C., Nam, J. H., Lee, S. A., An, D., Kim, H. L., Kwon, S. H., & Lee, E. K. (2022). Clinical manifestation, economic burden, and mortality in patients with transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, 17(1), 262. doi:10.1186/s13023-022-02425-3