Sex disparities in health and health care utilization after Parkinson diagnosis: Rethinking PD associated disability

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Parkinsonism & related disorders


OBJECTIVE: To examine sex differences and trends in comorbid disease and health care utilization in individuals with newly diagnosed Parkinson disease (PD).

DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study.

PARTICIPANTS: Over 133,000 Medicare beneficiaries with a new PD diagnosis in 2002 followed through 2008.

METHODS: We compared the prevalence and cumulative incidence of common medical conditions, trends in survival and health care utilization between men and women with PD.

RESULTS: Female PD patients had higher adjusted incidence rate ratio (IRR) of depression (IRR: 1.28, 1.25-1.31), hip fracture (IRR: 1.51, 1.45-1.56), osteoporosis (3.01, 2.92-3.1), and rheumatoid/osteoarthritis (IRR: 1.47, 1.43-1.51) than men. In spite of greater survival, women with PD used home health and skilled nursing facility care more often, and had less outpatient physician contact than men throughout the study period.

CONCLUSIONS: Women experience a unique health trajectory after PD diagnosis as suggested by differing comorbid disease burden and health care utilization compared to men. Future studies of sex differences in care needs, care quality, comorbidity related disability, PD progression, and non-clinical factors associated with disability are needed to inform research agendas and clinical guidelines that may improve quality survival for women with PD.

Medical Subject Headings

Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Cohort Studies; Disabled Persons; Female; Healthcare Disparities; Humans; Incidence; Male; Medicare; Parkinson Disease; Patient Acceptance of Health Care; Prevalence; Sex Characteristics; United States

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