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Researchers add up costs of strokes to patients’ lives

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Having a stroke, or even a transient ischemic attack (a TIA, often called a “mini-stroke”) can be a costly watershed in a person’s life. Statistically, it deducts years from patients’ lives. But it claims another toll too: in quality of life after the stroke has happened. New research tallies the combined cost of those two very different measures, and suggests that current treatments for stroke aren’t doing nearly enough to minimize strokes’ true cost.

The study, published this week in the journal Neurology, is an exercise in health economics that seeks to generate a fuller picture of a disease’s cost. That calculation gives insurers, hospital administrators and public health officials a better — and hopefully more humane — basis for deciding which treatments are most “cost-effective.”

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