Healthcare utilization associated with dyspepsia in patients with arthritis.
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OBJECTIVE: To compare gastrointestinal-related healthcare resource utilization in arthritis patients with and without dyspepsia. STUDY DESIGN: A historical cohort study based on a claims database. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Data were obtained from the MarketScan database. Adult patients with a diagnosis of arthritis (International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision [ICD-9] codes 714.0-715.9) during 1992 and 1993 were included; individuals with a diagnosis of dyspepsia within the first 3 months of their arthritis diagnosis were considered study case patients. Each case patient was matched with 4 nondyspeptic arthritis patients based on age, gender, employment status, and type of insurance plan. Healthcare resource utilization in terms of outpatient services and inpatient admissions during the first year after the initial arthritis diagnosis was compared between the case and control groups. RESULTS: A total of 503 case and 2146 control patients were identified. There were no significant differences in demographic characteristics between the 2 groups. Dyspeptic patients (cases) had a significantly higher rate of claims for endoscopic procedures (odds ratio [OR] = 10.0, P < .01) than nondyspeptic patients (controls). Patients with dyspepsia also had a significantly higher claim rate of gastrointestinal ulcer or bleeding (OR = 4.2, P < .01) and were more likely to be hospitalized at least once (OR = 1.4, P < .01). Dyspeptic patients had overall higher frequencies of use of outpatient services (53.9 vs 32.5 claims per patient, P < .001) and higher costs for both inpatient admission and outpatient services than nondyspeptic patients. CONCLUSION: Dyspeptic arthritis patients have higher healthcare resource utilization and associated costs than nondyspeptic arthritis patients.
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