ResearchPad - health-insurance https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Risk of colorectal cancer in patients with alcoholism: A nationwide, population-based nested case-control study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7832 Colorectal cancer (CRC) is regarded as a multifactorial disease and shares many risk factors with alcoholism. However, the association between alcoholism and CRC remains controversial.ObjectivesIn this study, we aimed to evaluate the association between alcoholism and risk of CRC.MethodsWe performed a large-scale, population-based nested case-control study using the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2013, derived from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database, and collected data from 2000 to 2013. There were 49,095 diagnosed cases of CRC defined according to the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification. Each case was matched with three controls by sex, age, index date of CRC, and annual medical visits; a total of 147,285 controls were identified. Multiple risk factors of CRC in alcoholism cases were investigated using unconditional multiple logistic regression analysis.ResultsAmong 49,095 cases of CRC, alcoholism was associated with a significantly higher risk of CRC (adjusted odds ratio (OR), 1.631; 95% CI, 1.565–1.699) in multivariate logistic regression, after adjusting other CRC risk factors, and in stratified analysis with multivariate logistic regression. In addition, there was a time-dependent relationship between alcoholism duration and CRC risk in >1 year, > 2 years, >5 years, and > 11 years groups (adjusted ORs, 1.875, 2.050, 2.662 and 2.670; 95% CI, 1.788–1.967, 1.948–2.158, 2.498–2.835, and 2.511–2.989 respectively).ConclusionAn association between alcoholism and risk of CRC was found in this study. Furthermore, patients with longer alcoholism history showed higher likelihood of developing CRC, which indicates a time-dependent relationship between alcoholism exposure and CRC. Further research on colorectal tumorigenesis is needed. ]]> <![CDATA[Distinguishing moral hazard from access for high-cost healthcare under insurance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N9aa1c21e-eb0c-47d9-9336-743c9eef5b98

Context

Health policy has long been preoccupied with the problem that health insurance stimulates spending (“moral hazard”). However, much health spending is costly healthcare that uninsured individuals could not otherwise access. Field studies comparing those with more or less insurance cannot disaggregate moral hazard versus access. Moreover, studies of patients consuming routine low-dollar healthcare are not informative for the high-dollar healthcare that drives most of aggregate healthcare spending in the United States.

Methods

We test indemnities as an alternative theory-driven counterfactual. Such conditional cash transfers would maintain an opportunity cost for patients, unlike standard insurance, but also guarantee access to the care. Since indemnities do not exist in U.S. healthcare, we fielded two blinded vignette-based survey experiments with 3,000 respondents, randomized to eight clinical vignettes and three insurance types. Our replication uses a population that is weighted to national demographics on three dimensions.

Findings

Most or all of the spending due to insurance would occur even under an indemnity. The waste attributable to moral hazard is undetectable.

Conclusions

For high-cost care, policymakers should be more concerned about the foregone efficient spending for those lacking full insurance, rather than the wasteful spending that occurs with full insurance.

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<![CDATA[Beware of vested interests: Epistemic vigilance improves reasoning about scientific evidence (for some people)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Na4c1a7a8-d330-434e-b120-e60e98785391

In public disputes, stakeholders sometimes misrepresent statistics or other types of scientific evidence to support their claims. One of the reasons this is problematic is that citizens often do not have the motivation nor the cognitive skills to accurately judge the meaning of statistics and thus run the risk of being misinformed. This study reports an experiment investigating the conditions under which people become vigilant towards a source’s claim and thus reason more carefully about the supporting evidence. For this, participants were presented with a claim by a vested-interest or a neutral source and with statistical evidence which was cited by the source as being in support of the claim. However, this statistical evidence actually contradicted the source’s claim but was presented as a contingency table, which are typically difficult for people to interpret correctly. When the source was a lobbyist arguing for his company’s product people were better at interpreting the evidence compared to when the same source argued against the product. This was not the case for a different vested-interests source nor for the neutral source. Further, while all sources were rated as less trustworthy when participants realized that the source had misrepresented the evidence, only for the lobbyist source was this seen as a deliberate attempt at deception. Implications for research on epistemic trust, source credibility effects and science communication are discussed.

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<![CDATA[Health promotion with physiolytics: What is driving people to subscribe in a data-driven health plan]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N67264028-7608-43f5-811f-a7ed2c904b8b

Data-driven health promotion programs and health plans try to harness the new possibilities of ubiquitous and pervasive physiolytics devices. In this paper we seek to explore what drives people to subscribe to such a data-driven health plan. Our study reveals that the decision to subscribe to a data-driven health plan is strongly influenced by the beliefs of seeing physiolytics as enabler for positive health behavior change and of perceiving health insurances as trustworthy organizations that are capable of securely and righteously manage the data collected by physiolytics.

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<![CDATA[Can mutual health organisations influence the quality and the affordability of healthcare provision? The case of the Democratic Republic of Congo]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf97c5072-5c0f-45dc-b83f-09c75045dd0d

Background

In their mission to achieve better access to quality healthcare services, mutual health organisations (MHOs) are not limited to providing health insurance. As democratically controlled member organisations, MHOs aim to make people’s voices heard. At national level, they seek involvement in the design of social protection policies; at local level, they seek to improve responsiveness of healthcare services to members’ needs and expectations.

Methods

In this qualitative study, we investigated whether MHOs in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) succeed in defending members’ rights by improving healthcare quality while minimising expenses. The data originate from an earlier in-depth investigation conducted in the DRC in 2016 of the performance of 13 MHOs. We re-analysed this existing dataset and more specifically investigated actions that the MHOs undertook to improve quality and affordability of healthcare provision for their members, using a framework for analysis based on Hirschman’s exit-voice theory. This framework distinguishes four mechanisms for MHO members to use in influencing providers: (1) ‘exit’ or ‘voting with the feet’; (2) ‘co-producing a long voice route’ or imposing rules through strategic purchasing; (3) ‘guarding over the long voice route of accountability’ or pressuring authorities to regulate and enforce regulations; and (4) ‘strengthening the short voice route’ by transforming the power imbalance at the provider–patient interface.

Results

All studied MHOs used these four mechanisms to improve healthcare provision. Most healthcare providers, however, did not recognise their authority to do so. In the DRC, controlling quality and affordability of healthcare is firmly seen as a role for the health authorities, but the authorities only marginally take up this role. Under current circumstances, the power of MHOs in the DRC to enhance quality and affordability of healthcare is weak.

Conclusion

On their own, mutual health organisations in the DRC do not have sufficient power to influence the practices of healthcare providers. Greater responsiveness of the health services to MHO members requires cooperation of all actors involved in healthcare delivery to create an enabling environment where voices defending people’s rights are heard.

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<![CDATA[Utilization patterns of insulin for patients with type 2 diabetes from national health insurance claims data in South Korea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89775bd5eed0c4847d2ad6

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a chronic disease that requires long-term therapy and regular check-ups to prevent complications. In this study, insurance claim data from the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) of Korea were used to investigate insulin use in T2DM patients according to the economic status of patients and their access to primary physicians, operationally defined as the frequently used medical care providers at the time of T2DM diagnosis. A total of 91,810 participants were included from the NHIS claims database for the period between 2002 and 2013. The utilization pattern of insulin was set as the dependent variable and classified as one of the following: non-use of antidiabetic drugs, use of oral antidiabetic drugs only, or use of insulin with or without oral antidiabetic drugs. The main independent variables of interest were level of income and access to a frequently-visited physician. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards analysis was performed. Insulin was used by 9,281 patients during the study period, while use was 2.874 times more frequent in the Medical-aid group than in the highest premium group [hazard ratio (HR): 2.874, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.588–3.192]. Insulin was also used ~50% more often in the patients managed by a frequently-visited physician than in those managed by other healthcare professionals (HR: 1.549, 95% CI: 1.434–1.624). The lag time to starting insulin was shorter when the patients had a low income and no frequently-visited physicians. Patients with a low level of income were more likely to use insulin and to have a shorter lag time from diagnosis to starting insulin. The likelihood of insulin being used was higher when the patients had a frequently-visited physician, particularly if they also had a low level of income. Therefore, the economic statuses of patients should be considered to ensure effective management of T2DM. Utilizing frequently-visited physicians might improve the management of T2DM, particularly for patients with a low income.

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<![CDATA[Socioeconomic gap between neighborhoods of Budapest: Striking impact on stroke and possible explanations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe19d5eed0c484e5b4a4

Introduction

Hungary has a single payer health insurance system offering free healthcare for acute cerebrovascular disorders. Within the capital, Budapest, however there are considerable microregional socioeconomic differences. We hypothesized that socioeconomic deprivation reflects in less favorable stroke characteristics despite universal access to care.

Methods

From the database of the National Health Insurance Fund, we identified 4779 patients hospitalized between 2002 and 2007 for acute cerebrovascular disease (hereafter ACV, i.e. ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, or transient ischemia), among residents of the poorest (District 8, n = 2618) and the wealthiest (District 12, n = 2161) neighborhoods of Budapest. Follow-up was until March 2013.

Results

Mean age at onset of ACV was 70±12 and 74±12 years for District 8 and 12 (p<0.01). Age-standardized incidence was higher in District 8 than in District 12 (680/100,000/year versus 518/100,000/year for ACV and 486/100,000/year versus 259/100,000/year for ischemic stroke). Age-standardized mortality of ACV overall and of ischemic stroke specifically was 157/100,000/year versus 100/100,000/year and 122/100,000/year versus 75/100,000/year for District 8 and 12. Long-term case fatality (at 1,5, and 10 years) for ACV and for ischemic stroke was higher in younger District 8 residents (41–70 years of age at the index event) compared to D12 residents of the same age. This gap between the districts increased with the length of follow-up. Of the risk diseases the prevalence of hypertension and diabetes was higher in District 8 than in District 12 (75% versus 66%, p<0.001; and 26% versus 16%, p<0.001).

Discussion

Despite universal healthcare coverage, the disadvantaged district has higher ACV incidence and mortality than the wealthier neighborhood. This difference affects primarily the younger age groups. Long-term follow-up data suggest that inequity in institutional rehabilitation and home-care should be investigated and improved in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

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<![CDATA[Acute rhinosinusitis among pediatric patients with allergic rhinitis: A nationwide, population-based cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c75e2d5eed0c4843d03bf

Background

While chronic rhinosinusitis is a common complication of allergic rhinitis, the link between acute rhinosinusitis and allergic rhinitis is unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the risk of incident acute rhinosinusitis among pediatric patients with allergic rhinitis, using a nationwide, population-based health claims research database.

Methods

Newly diagnosed allergic rhinitis patients aged 5–18 years were identified from the health claim records of the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2000 of Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database. A comparison cohort was assembled by randomly selecting patients from the same database with frequency matching by sex, age group, and index year. All patients were followed until a diagnosis of acute rhinosinusitis or the end of the follow-up period. Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess the association between allergic rhinitis and acute rhinosinusitis.

Results

Of the 43,588 pediatric patients included in this study, 55.4% were male and 43.9% were between the ages of 5.0–7.9 years. The risk of acute rhinosinusitis was significantly higher in pediatric patients with allergic rhinitis compared to those without the condition (adjusted hazard ratio = 3.03, 95% confidence interval = 2.89–3.18). Similar hazard ratios were observed between male and female pediatric patients.

Conclusions

This secondary cohort study using a nationwide, population-based health claim data of the Taiwan’s NHIRD showed that allergic rhinitis was significantly associated with a higher risk of acute rhinosinusitis among pediatric patients.

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<![CDATA[Perceptions of chest pain and healthcare seeking behavior for chest pain in northern Tanzania: A community-based survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c7595d5eed0c4843cfecf

Background

Little is known about community perceptions of chest pain and healthcare seeking behavior for chest pain in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods

A two-stage randomized population-based cluster survey with selection proportional to population size was performed in northern Tanzania. Self-identified household healthcare decision-makers from randomly selected households were asked to list all possible causes of chest pain in an adult and asked where they would go if an adult household member had chest pain.

Results

Of 718 respondents, 485 (67.5%) were females. The most commonly cited causes of chest pain were weather and exercise, identified by 342 (47.6%) and 318 (44.3%) respondents. Two (0.3%) respondents identified ‘heart attack’ as a possible cause of chest pain. A hospital was selected as the preferred healthcare facility for an adult with chest pain by 277 (38.6%) respondents. Females were less likely to prefer a hospital than males (OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.47–0.90, p = 0.008).

Conclusions

There is little community awareness of cardiac causes of chest pain in northern Tanzania, and most adults reported that they would not present to a hospital for this symptom. There is an urgent need for educational interventions to address this knowledge deficit and guide appropriate care-seeking behavior.

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<![CDATA[Belief about the future possibility of national aging security system and its association with mortality]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f1530d5eed0c48467aea4

In line with well-known subjective measures of health, such as self-rated health and subjective life expectancy, an individual’s belief about future security provided by the government could also be an important factor affecting his life expectancy. The aim of this study was to use the response of the elderly Korean population in regards to the National Aging Security System (NASS), and assess its association with the risk of mortality even with SRH included in the analysis. Data from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Ageing (KLoSA) from 2006 to 2016 were assessed using longitudinal data analysis and 10,254 research subjects were included at baseline in 2006. To analyze the association between belief about future possibility of NASS and all-cause mortality, Cox proportional hazards model was used. In terms of the future possibility of NASS, people who thought more negatively displayed greater risk of mortality at the end of the follow-up. With the Positive group as reference: Moderate group showed a 18% increase (HR = 1.178, 95% CI: 1.022, 1.357), and Negative groups showed a 19% increase (HR = 1.192, 95% CI: 1.043, 1.362). The results of our study showed that people’s belief regarding future security could be associated with mortality rates. Our finding is important, because it provides additional support to the importance of considering subjective measures of health in epidemiological research. Furthermore, the findings of our research could be useful in terms of future policy making.

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<![CDATA[Role of insurance in determining utilization of healthcare and financial risk protection in India]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c633943d5eed0c484ae6374

Background

Universal health coverage has become a policy goal in most developing economies. We assess the association of health insurance (HI) schemes in general, and RSBY (National Health Insurance Scheme) in particular, on extent and pattern of healthcare utilization. Secondly, we assess the relationship of HI and RSBY on out-of-pocket (OOP) expenditures and financial risk protection (FRP).

Methods

A cross-sectional study was undertaken to interview 62335 individuals among 12,134 households in 8 districts of three states in India i.e. Gujarat, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh (UP). Data on socio-demographic characteristics, assets, education, occupation, consumption expenditure, illness in last 15 days or hospitalization during last 365 days, treatment sought and its OOP expenditure was collected. We computed catastrophic health expenditures (CHE) as indicator for FRP. Hospitalization rate, choice of care provider and CHE were regressed to assess their association with insurance status and type of insurance scheme, after adjusting for other covariates.

Results

Mean OOP expenditures for outpatient care among insured and uninsured were INR 961 (USD 16) and INR 840 (USD 14); and INR 32573 (USD 543) and INR 24788 (USD 413) for an episode of hospitalization respectively. The prevalence of CHE for hospitalization was 28% and 26% among the insured and uninsured population respectively. No significant association was observed in multivariate analysis between hospitalization rate, choice of care provider or CHE with insurance status or RSBY in particular.

Conclusion

Health insurance in its present form does not seem to provide requisite improvement in access to care or financial risk protection.

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<![CDATA[Health administrative data enrichment using cohort information: Comparative evaluation of methods by simulation and application to real data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca2efd5eed0c48441edf1

Background

Studies using health administrative databases (HAD) may lead to biased results since information on potential confounders is often missing. Methods that integrate confounder data from cohort studies, such as multivariate imputation by chained equations (MICE) and two-stage calibration (TSC), aim to reduce confounding bias. We provide new insights into their behavior under different deviations from representativeness of the cohort.

Methods

We conducted an extensive simulation study to assess the performance of these two methods under different deviations from representativeness of the cohort. We illustrate these approaches by studying the association between benzodiazepine use and fractures in the elderly using the general sample of French health insurance beneficiaries (EGB) as main database and two French cohorts (Paquid and 3C) as validation samples.

Results

When the cohort was representative from the same population as the HAD, the two methods are unbiased. TSC was more efficient and faster but its variance could be slightly underestimated when confounders were non-Gaussian. If the cohort was a subsample of the HAD (internal validation) with the probability of the subject being included in the cohort depending on both exposure and outcome, MICE was unbiased while TSC was biased. The two methods appeared biased when the inclusion probability in the cohort depended on unobserved confounders.

Conclusion

When choosing the most appropriate method, epidemiologists should consider the origin of the cohort (internal or external validation) as well as the (anticipated or observed) selection biases of the validation sample.

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<![CDATA[Can diabetes patients seeking a second hospital get better care? Results from nested case–control study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c495d5eed0c4845e8986

This study investigates the effects of the number of medical institutions visited on risk of death. This study conducted a nested case-control design using the National Health Insurance Service–Senior database from 2002 to 2013. Cases were defined as those with death among outpatients who had first diagnosis of diabetes mellitus (E10-E14) after entry into the base cohort and controls were selected by incidence density sampling and matched to cases based on age, and sex. Our main results were presented by conditional logistic regression for nested case-controls design. Of total 55,558 final study samples, there were 9,313 (16.8%) cases and 46,245 (83.2%) controls. With an increase by one point in the number of hospitals per medical utilization, risk of death significantly increased by 4.1% (odds ratio (OR): 1.041, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.039–1.043). In both medical utilization and number of hospitals, those with high medical utilization (OR: 1.065, 95% CI: 1.059–1.070) and number of hospitals (OR: 1.049, 95% CI: 1.041–1.058) for risk of death were significantly higher than those with low medical utilization (OR: 1.040, 95% CI: 1.037–1.043) and number of hospitals (OR: 1.029, 95% CI: 1.027–1.032), respectively. The number of medical institution visited was significantly associated with risk of death. Therefore, diabetics should be warned about the potential of risk of death incurred from excessive access to medical utilizations.

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<![CDATA[Quickscan assesses risk factors of long-term sickness absence: A cross-sectional (factorial) construct validation study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c424397d5eed0c4845e0728

Objectives

The number of sick-listed employees has increased dramatically worldwide. Therefore, many countries aim to stimulate early and sustainable return to work opportunities to obtain better health outcomes and lower costs for disability pensions. To effectively orientate resources to patients with a high risk of not resuming work spontaneously, it is necessary to screen patients early in their sickness absence process. In this study, we validate “Quickscan”, a new instrument to assess return-to-work needs and to predict risks of long-term sick leave.

Methods

As part of the Quickscan validation process, we tested and compared the reliability and construct validity of the questionnaire in two different populations. First, we conducted a cross-sectional study in which the screening instrument was sent to sick-listed individuals in healthcare insurance. In a second cross-sectional study, sick-listed workers who consulted the occupational health physician for return-to-work assessment were asked to fill out the questionnaire. We compared both samples for descriptive statistics: frequencies, means and standard deviations. Reliability of the scales was calculated using Cronbach’s alpha. Confirmatory factor analysis was performed to evaluate the construct (factorial) validity of the studied scales using software package AMOS 24.

Results

The screening tool was shown to be an instrument with reliable scales (except for the perfectionism and health perception patient scale) in both populations. The construct validity was satisfactory: we found that the hypothesized measurement models with the theoretical factors fitted the data well in both populations. In the first sample, the model improved for scales concerning stressful life events and showed worse fit for person-related factors. Work-related factors and functioning factors both showed similar fit indices across samples. We found small differences in descriptive statistics, which we could explain by the differences in characteristics of both populations.

Conclusions

We can conclude that the instrument has considerable potential to function as a screening tool for disability management and follow-up of sick-leave, provided that some adaptations and validation tests are executed.

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<![CDATA[Mortality, disability, and healthcare expenditure of patients with seropositive rheumatoid arthritis in Korea: A nationwide population-based study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3e4f99d5eed0c484d772af

Background

We investigated the mortality and disability rate, as well as the healthcare expenditure, for patients with newly diagnosed seropositive rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who were followed-up for up to 10 years, compared to the general population in Korea.

Methods

We conducted a nationwide population-based study using a National Health Insurance Service-National Sample Cohort of the Korean population, consisting of 1 million individuals who submitted medical care claims between 2002 and 2013. RA was identified using as the International Classification of Diseases code M05 (seropositive RA), with prescription of any disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD). Our analysis was based on the data of 1655 patients with incident seropositive RA and 8275 non-RA controls. The controls were matched to the RA cohort by sex, age at the time of diagnosis, duration of follow-up, geographic region, type of social security, and household income.

Results

The most commonly used conventional synthetic DMARDs were hydroxychloroquine (71.30%) and methotrexate (69.5%), with adalimumab being the most commonly used biologic DMARD (2.54%). The mortality rate was significantly higher in the RA than the control group (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 1.29, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02–1.64) in the first 10 years after diagnosis. Specifically, mortality due to infectious diseases (IRR 4.41, 95% CI 1.60–12.17) and pneumonia (IRR 3.92, 95% CI 1.46–10.53) was significantly higher in the RA than control group. The disability rate was higher in the RA than control group over the first 10 years of the disease (IRR 2.27, 95% CI 1.77–2.92), which was attributed to a higher incidence of physical disability (IRR 3.81, 95% CI 2.81–5.15). Annual health expenditure was greater for the RA than the control group.

Conclusions

Therefore, the rate of mortality and disability, as well as healthcare expenditure, are higher for patients with RA over the first 10 years of the disease onset, than the general population of Korea. The use of claim data has limited the quality of information and there is a limit to the observation period, and we expect the prospective national-wide multicenter cohort for longer period to overcome these limitations.

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<![CDATA[Are we validly assessing major depression disorder risk and associated factors among mothers of young children? A cross-sectional study involving home visitation programs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3d0182d5eed0c48403c018

Failure to account for misclassification error accruing from imperfect case-finding instruments can produce biased estimates of suspected major depression disorder (MDD) risk factor associations. The objective of this study was to estimate the impact of misclassification error on the magnitude of measures of association between suspected risk factors and MDD assessed using the Center of Epidemiological Studies on Depression—Short Form during the prenatal and postnatal periods. Baseline data were collected from 520 mothers participating in two home visitation studies in Oklahoma City between 2010 and 2014. A Bayesian binomial latent class model was used to compare the prevalence proportion ratio (PPR) between suspected risk factors and MDD with and without adjustment for misclassification error and confounding by period of MDD symptom on-set. Adjustment for misclassification error and confounding by period of MDD on-set (prenatal vs postnatal) showed that the association between suspected risk factors and MDD is underestimated (-) and overestimated (+) differentially in different source populations of low-income mothers. The median bias in the magnitude of PPR estimates ranged between -.47 (95% Bayesian Credible Intervals [BCI]: -10.67, 1.90) for intimate partner violence to +.06 (95%BCI: -0.37, 0.47) for race/ethnicity among native-born US residents. Among recent Hispanic immigrants, bias ranged from -.77 (95%BCI: -15.31, 0.96) for history of childhood maltreatment to +.10 (95%BCI: -0.17, 0.39) for adequacy of family resources. Overall, the extent of bias on measures of association between maternal MDD and suspected risk factors is considerable without adjustment for misclassification error and is even higher for confounding by period of MDD assessment. Consideration of these biases in MDD prevention research is warranted.

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<![CDATA[The incremental economic burden of heart failure: A population-based investigation from South Korea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c269772d5eed0c48470f8d6

Background

The prevalence of heart failure (HF) and its economic burden are increasing with age of the South Korean population. This study aimed to assess the economic impact of HF from the societal perspective.

Methods

A prevalence-based, incremental cost-of-patient study was performed to estimate the cost ratio between patients with HF and those without HF based on the claims database of the national health insurance in South Korea. We defined adult HF patients as those aged ≥19 years who had at least one insurance claim record with a primary or secondary diagnosis of HF. Age- and gender-matched controls were defined using a 1:4 greedy matching method. Costs were estimated by including medical costs for insurance-covered and non-covered services, transportation costs, caregiver’s cost, and time costs of patients. The ratio of costs between patients with HF and those without HF was adjusted for age, gender, and type of universal health security program in the multivariate regression model.

Results

The average annual per-capita cost was estimated to be $6,601 for patients with HF (n = 14,252), which is about 3.38 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.31–3.46) times higher than that for patients without HF (n = 1,116,882) and 1.64 (95% CI: 1.59–1.70) times higher than that for the age- and gender-matched patients without HF (n = 57,008). In the multivariate regression model, the annual per-capita total costs were 1.98-fold (95% CI: 1.94–2.02) statistically higher for patients with HF than for patients without HF after adjustment for age, gender, and type of universal health security program.

Conclusions

This study demonstrates a significant incremental burden of HF. Given that the prevalence of HF is expected to increase with an increase in the aging population, the national economic burden is expected to be substantial in the future. Thus, greater emphasis on the prevention and treatment of HF is warranted.

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<![CDATA[Factors associated with time to first healthcare visit, diagnosis and treatment, and their impact on survival among breast cancer patients in Mali]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0993c7d5eed0c4842ad8f8

Objective

To analyse patient and healthcare system related factors influencing the time to first healthcare visit, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer patients in sub-Saharan Africa and the impact on survival in order to advise on early detection strategies.

Methods

A prospective hospital cohort study was conducted at the only pathology department in Mali, at the University Hospital in Bamako. All the female patients with a breast cancer diagnosis between January and April 2016 were interviewed with a structured questionnaire (N = 64) to gather information about breast symptom recognition and first healthcare visit. Information on beginning of treatment and survival were collected at 18-months follow-up. Simple Cox regression analyses were performed.

Results

The median time to first healthcare visit was 4.8 months, from first healthcare visit to diagnosis was 0.9 months and for the patients who started treatment (N = 46) the time from diagnosis to treatment was 1.3 months. Knowledge of breast-self-examination and correct symptom interpretation increased the chance of an earlier healthcare visit. Prolonged time to diagnosis was found with shorter duration to first healthcare visit, for working women compared to housewives and for those living within Bamako. Living outside Bamako and smaller tumour size (T1/T2) prolonged time to treatment. Visit of a traditional healer and larger tumour size (T3/T4) shortened survival time, whereas time to first healthcare visit and subsequent time to diagnosis had no influence on survival.

Conclusions

Down-staging strategies are only useful if the continuum of breast cancer care is warranted for the majority of patients.

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<![CDATA[Exploring the spatial heterogeneity in different doses of vaccination coverage in India]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c23ffacd5eed0c4840931cb

Background

Despite the universalization of immunization against the six vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs), the coverage of full immunization among the children under age five has remained a challenge globally. The 2015–16 National Family Health Survey (NFHS) indicated large disparity in the coverage of different vaccination doses (BCG, Polio, DPT and Measles) including full immunization across the districts of India. The spatial distribution of poor performing districts in terms of vaccination and the district level spatial, contextual determinants contributing to the low coverage have been poorly studied. Using the recent household survey (NFHS, 2015–16), this study examined the spatial heterogeneity and the factors associated with low vaccination coverage among the children aged 12–23 months across India.

Data and methods

This study used the data from fourth round of National Family Health Survey conducted in 2015–16. District-level prevalence of each of the vaccination doses including full immunization, were analysed. Moran’s I, Univariate and Bivariate LISA, Ordinary least square (OLS) and spatial models were employed to achieve the overall aim of the study.

Results

At the national level, the prevalence of full immunization was 62 percent. Specific vaccination coverage for BCG, three doses of polio, three doses of DPT and measles were 92, 73, 78 and 81 percent, respectively. The value of the bivariate Moran’s I statistics confirmed the spatial dependence between specific vaccination and the set of independent variables. District-level prevalence of the specific vaccine and full immunization showed significant spatial clustering across India. The adjusted coefficients from the spatial error model confirmed that district-level proportion of utilization of post-natal care, institutional births, neonatal tetanus protection of the last birth, women’s education and coverage of health insurance showed statistically significant association with every doses of vaccination coverage.

Conclusion

The full and specific immunization coverage was considerably low in the geographical hotspots as compared to the national coverage. Maternal and child health care services utilization, financial assistance to the mothers through JSY scheme and mother’s education were found to determine full immunization as well as the specific vaccination coverage. Appropriate intervention should be designed to reduce the geographical disparity in the coverage of specific and full immunization across India and thus safeguard child health protecting the children from the vaccine preventable diseases across the geography.

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<![CDATA[Universal health insurance, health inequality and oral cancer in Taiwan]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bd2323f40307c60de5e996e

Introduction

The introduction of universal health insurance coverage aims to provide equal accessibility and affordability of health care, but whether such a policy eliminates health inequalities has not been conclusively determined. This research aims to examine the healthcare outcomes of oral cancer and determine whether the universal coverage system in Taiwan has reduced health inequality.

Methods

Linking the databases of the National Cancer Registry with the National Mortality Registry in Taiwan, we stratified patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma by gender and income to estimate the incidence rate, cumulative incidence rate aged from 20 to 79 (CIR20-79), life expectancy, and expected years of life lost (EYLL). The difficulties with asymmetries and short follow-up periods were resolved through applying survival analysis extrapolation methods.

Results

While all people showed a general improvement in life expectancy after the introduction of the NHI, the estimated change in EYLL’s of the high-, middle-, and low-income female patients were found to have +0.3, -0.5 and -7 years of EYLL, respectively, indicating a reduction in health inequality. Improvements for the male patients were unremarkable. There was no drop in the CIR20-79 of oral cancer in disadvantaged groups as in those with higher incomes.

Conclusions

Universal coverage alone may not reduce health inequality across different income groups for oral cancer unless effective preventive measures are implemented for economically disadvantaged regions.

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