Heart failure and economic impact: an analysis in real clinical practice in Italy


  • Melania Dovizio CliCon S.r.l. Società Benefit, Health, Economics & Outcomes Research, Bologna - Italy
  • Melania Leogrande CliCon S.r.l. Società Benefit, Health, Economics & Outcomes Research, Bologna - Italy
  • Luca Degli Esposti CliCon S.r.l. Società Benefit, Health, Economics & Outcomes Research, Bologna - Italy




Cardiovascular comorbidities, Healthcare costs, Heart failure, Hospitalizations


Introduction: Heart failure (HF) affects 1% of subjects aged 45-55 and over 10% of subjects aged ≥ 80 and in Italy represents the third leading cause of hospitalization.

Objective: To analyse the clinical and economic burden of HF in the Italian real clinical practice.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted on the administrative databases of healthcare institutions for 4.2 million health-assisted residents. Between January 2012 and March 2021, patients with a hospital discharge diagnosis for HF were included. Among healthcare utilization and costs, treatments, hospitalizations, and specialist services were evaluated. The HF group was compared with a population without HF (no-HF) similar for age, sex distribution, and cardiovascular risk factors.

Results: The same number of patients with (N = 74,085) and without HF (N = 74,085) was included. A profile of cardiovascular comorbidities emerged in the HF group, mainly hypertension (88.6%), cardiovascular disease (61.3%) and diabetes (32.1%). Hospitalizations from any cause were 635.6 vs 429.8/1,000 person-year in the HF vs no-HF group. At one-year follow-up, all-cause mortality was 24.9% in HF patients and 8.4% in no-HF. Resource utilization/patient was respectively 26.8 ± 15.9 vs 17.1 ± 12.5 for medications, 0.8 ± 1.2 vs 0.3 ± 0.8 for hospitalizations, and 9.4 ± 12.6 vs 6.5 ± 9.8 for specialist services. This resource utilization resulted in significantly higher total healthcare costs in the HF group vs no-HF group (€ 5,910 vs € 3,574, p < 0.001), mainly related to hospitalizations (€ 3,702 vs € 1,958).

Conclusions: HF patients show a significantly higher clinical and economic burden than no-HF, with total healthcare costs being about 1.7 times the costs of the no-HF group.

Keywords: Cardiovascular comorbidities, Healthcare costs, Heart failure, Hospitalizations


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How to Cite

Dovizio, M., Leogrande, M., & Degli Esposti, L. (2024). Heart failure and economic impact: an analysis in real clinical practice in Italy. Global and Regional Health Technology Assessment, 11(1), 94–100. https://doi.org/10.33393/grhta.2024.3013



Original Research Articles


Received 2023-12-22
Accepted 2024-02-28
Published 2024-04-22