Korean J Health Promot.  2011 Mar;11(1):25-33.

Medical Services Utilization among Lipid-Modifying Drug Users

Affiliations
  • 1Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service, Seoul, Korea. sunmeejang@hiramail.net

Abstract

BACKGROUND
Several practice guidelines for management of dyslipidemia including the National Cholesterol Education Program recommend regular physician follow-up and lipid testing to promote adherence with lipid-modifying drugs. The objective of this study was to analyze the pattern of medical care use among lipid-modifying drug users.
METHODS
A retrospective cohort study was conducted with 57,801 new users of lipid-modifying drugs who initiated treatment in 2005. The Korean National Health Insurance Claims Data was used to examine the pattern of medical care use and related factors after treatment initiation for up to two years. Getting the prescription and follow-up lipid testing were considered use of medical care.
RESULTS
More than 95% of the patients visited physicians for prescriptions or lipid testings in the first year after initiating drug therapy. In the first two months, 77% had both prescription and follow-up lipid testing, while in the second year, approximately 57% had. Rate for follow-up lipid testing in the first two months was about 78%, but 55% in the second year. Approximately 74% of the patients continued using ambulatory medical care in the second year. In multiple logistic regression analysis, the probability of continual visits in the second year increased in patients who visited one medical institution for prescription and lipid testing within six months.
CONCLUSIONS
Early and frequent visits, especially for lipid testings, were associated with continuous medical care use. Patients should be educated regarding the importance of dyslipidemia management in the early stage after treatment initiation.

Keyword

Dyslipidemia; Medical care use; Retrospective study
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