The excess burden of rheumatoid arthritis in Ontario, Canada. Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to estimate the excess burden of RA in Ontario, the largest province in Canada. METHODS: The records of all adult Ontarians who participated in the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) cycle 1.1 (2000/2001) and provided consent to data linkage were linked to the Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP) physician claims database and the Discharge Abstract Database (DAD) In-Patient (i.e. hospitalisation) and Day-Procedure databases. RA individuals (n=233) were identified using CCHS 1.1 and the physician claims database. A control group matched by age, gender and rural/urban status was created with three controls for one case (n=699). Socio-demographic variables, medical characteristics, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and one-year physician services, hospitalizations and day procedures costs were determined for the RA and non-RA groups. Regression techniques were used to identify predictors of medical characteristics, utility and cost data. RESULTS: The mean age of the population was 59 years and 76% were female. Compared to the matched control group, individuals with RA were statistically more likely to be obese, less educated, physically inactive and have a lower income. RA individuals also reported a statistically higher number of comorbidities and a lower HRQoL. Although no statistical differences were observed between the RA and non-RA groups for the costs associated with hospitalisations, the physician ($1,015 vs. $624, respectively) and day procedure ($102 vs. $51, respectively) costs were statistically higher among RA individuals. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that the human and economic burden of RA in Ontario is considerable.

publication date

  • January 2013

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