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Open Access Research article

Burden of anemia in patients with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in French secondary care

Gergana Zlateva1*, Ruth Diazaraque2, Muriel Viala-Danten3 and Liviu Niculescu1

Author Affiliations

1 Pfizer Inc, New York, NY, USA

2 Pfizer Inc, Walton Oaks, UK

3 Mapi Values, Lyon, France

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BMC Geriatrics 2010, 10:59  doi:10.1186/1471-2318-10-59

Published: 26 August 2010

Abstract

Background

Arthritic disorders can be the cause of hospitalizations, especially among individuals 60 years and older. The objective of this study is to investigate associations between health care resource utilization in arthritis patients with and without concomitant anemia in a secondary care setting in France.

Methods

This retrospective cohort study utilized data on secondary care activity in 2001 from the Programme de Médicalisation des Systèmes d'Information database. Two cohorts were defined using ICD-10 codes: patients with an arthritis diagnosis with a concomitant diagnosis of anemia; and arthritis patients without anemia. Health care resource utilization for both populations was analyzed separately in public and private hospitals. Study outcomes were compared between the cohorts using standard bivariate and multivariable methods.

Results

There were 300,865 hospitalizations for patients with arthritis only, and 2,744 for those with concomitant anemia. Over 70% of patients with concomitant anemia were in public hospitals, compared with 53.5% of arthritis-only patients. Arthritis patients without anemia were younger than those with concomitant anemia (mean age 66.7 vs 74.6, public hospitals; 67.1 vs 72.2, private hospitals). Patients with concomitant anemia/arthritis only had a mean length of stay of 11.91 (SD 14.07)/8.04 (SD 9.93) days in public hospitals, and 10.68 (SD 10.16)/9.83 (SD 7.76) days in private hospitals. After adjusting for confounders, the mean (95% CI) additional length of stay for arthritis patients with concomitant anemia, compared with those with arthritis only, was 1.56 (1.14-1.98) days in public and 0.69 (0.22-1.16) days in private hospitals. Costs per hospitalization were €;480 (227-734) greater for arthritis patients with anemia in public hospitals, and €;30 (-113-52) less in private hospitals, than for arthritis-only patients.

Conclusions

Arthritis patients with concomitant anemia have a longer length of stay, undergo more procedures, and have higher hospitalization costs than nonanemic arthritis patients in public hospitals in France. In private hospitals, concomitant anemia was associated with modest increases in length of stay and number of procedures; however, this did not translate into higher costs. Such evidence of anemia-related health care utilization and costs can be considered as a proxy for the clinical significance of anemia.