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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Chronic Diseases in High-Cost Users of Hospital, Primary Care, and Prescription Medication in the Capital Region of Denmark

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BACKGROUND: A small proportion of patients account for the majority of health care costs. This group is often referred to as high-cost users (HCU). A frequently described characteristic of HCU is chronic disease. Yet, there is a gap in understanding the economic burden of chronic diseases associated with HCU to different types of health care services.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze which frequent chronic diseases have the strongest association with HCU overall, and HCU in hospital, primary care, and prescription medication.

DESIGN: This is a register-based observational study on Danish health service costs for various diseases in different medical settings.

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 1,350,677 individuals aged ≥ 18 years living in the Capital Region of Denmark by 1 January 2012 were included.

MAIN MEASURES: Chronic diseases, costs, and sociodemographic data were extracted from the nationwide registers, including data from hospitals, primary care, and medicine consumption. These information were merged on an individual level.

KEY RESULTS: Cancer, mental disorders except depression, and heart diseases have the strongest association with HCU overall. Mental disorders except depression were in the three diseases most prevalent in HCU in all the three health care services.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that the chronic diseases that have the strongest association with HCU differ between different types of health care services. Our findings may be helpful in informing future policies about health care organization and may guide to different prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation strategies that could lessen the burden in the hospital.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Volume34
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)2421-2426
Number of pages6
ISSN0884-8734
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

ID: 58075227