A new Mayo Clinic study discovered that residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota are most often visiting physicians due to chronic conditions such as skin issues, joint disorders, and back pain. As a population ages, more individuals experience multiple chronic medical conditions. However, it is important to note that these findings were not due to typical aging progressions, but chronic illness found among both genders and across age groups.
To identify the prevalence of the most common non-acute conditions in a defined US population, the Mayo Clinic used the Rochester Epidemiology Project (REP). This comprehensive medical records linkage system was used to track more than 140,000 Olmsted County, Minn., residents who visited Mayo Clinic, Olmsted Medical Center and other Olmsted County health care providers between Jan. 1, 2005, and Dec. 31, 2009.
The top disease groups encountered were:
• Skin disorders • Osteoarthritis/joint disorders • Back problems • Cholesterol problems • Upper respiratory conditions (not including asthma)
• Anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder • Chronic neurologic disorders • High blood pressure • Headaches/migraine • Diabetes
“Much research already has focused on chronic conditions, which account for the majority of health care utilization and costs in middle-aged and older adults,” says Jennifer St. Sauver, Ph.D., primary author of the study and member of the Population Health Program within the Mayo Clinic Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery.”We were interested in finding out about other types of conditions that may affect large segments of the population across all age groups.”
Recognizing the widespread occurrence of chronic illness may encourage improvement in the areas of health care delivery, access to treatment, and adequate insurance coverage. This study illuminates the magnitude of individuals suffering from chronic illness in a defined US population, and raises essential questions. What can be done to prevent, treat, and better care for these patients?
Many of our clients at Kantor & Kantor struggle with chronic conditions, and we understand how difficult living with these types of illnesses can be. If you have been denied disability benefits by your insurance company, we can help. Contact us at (800)446-7529 or www.kantorlaw.net .