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<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title> <jats:sec> <jats:title>Background</jats:title> <jats:p>Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is a chronic valvular heart disease that is responsible for a heavy burden of premature mortality in low- and middle-income countries. The total costs of RHD are important to health policy and research investment decisions. We estimate for the first time the total cost of RHD for Fiji (2008–2012) using a cost-of-illness approach and novel primary data on RHD disease burden and costs.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title>Methods</jats:title> <jats:p>RHD cases were identified using probabilistic record linkage across four routine data sources: (1) the Fiji RHD Control Program, (2) national hospital admissions records, (3) the Ministry of Health database of cause-specific deaths and (4) hospital ECG clinic registers. For each individual with RHD, we obtained information on RHD hospital admissions, treatment and death. We conducted a prevalence-based cost-of-illness analysis, including bottom-up assessment of indirect and direct (healthcare) costs.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title>Results</jats:title> <jats:p>The estimated cost of RHD in Fiji for 2008–2012 was year-2010 $FJ91.6 million (approximately US$47.7 million). Productivity losses from premature mortality constituted the majority of costs (71.4%). Indirect costs were 27-fold larger than the direct costs.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title>Conclusions</jats:title> <jats:p>RHD leads to a heavy economic burden in Fiji. Improved prevention strategies for RHD will likely confer substantial economic benefits to the country.</jats:p> </jats:sec>

Original publication




Journal article


Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene


Oxford University Press (OUP)

Publication Date





483 - 491