Multiple chronic conditions and associated health care expenses in US adults with cancer: A 2010-2015 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey study

Mary Lynn Davis-Ajami, Zhiqiang K. Lu, Jun Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Cancer increases the risk of developing one or more chronic conditions, yet little research describes the associations between health care costs, utilization patterns, and chronic conditions in adults with cancer. The objective of this study was to examine the treated prevalence of chronic conditions and the association between chronic conditions and health care expenses in US adults with cancer. Methods: This retrospective observational study used US Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) Household Component (2010-2015) data sampling adults diagnosed with cancer and one or more of 18 select chronic conditions. The measures used were treated prevalence of chronic conditions, and total and chronic condition-specific health expenses (per-person, per-year). Generalized linear models assessed chronic condition-specific expenses in adults with cancer vs. without cancer and the association of chronic conditions on total health expenses in adults with cancer, respectively, by controlling for demographic and health characteristics. Accounting for the complex survey design in MEPS, all data analyses and statistical procedures applied longitudinal weights for national estimates. Results: Among 3657 eligible adults with cancer, 83.9% (n = 3040; representing 16 million US individuals per-year) had at least one chronic condition, and 29.7% reported four or more conditions. Among those with cancer, hypertension (59.7%), hyperlipidemia (53.6%), arthritis (25.6%), diabetes (22.2%), and coronary artery disease (18.2%) were the five most prevalent chronic conditions. Chronic conditions accounted for 30% of total health expenses. Total health expenses were $6388 higher for those with chronic conditions vs. those without (p < 0.001). Health expenses associated with chronic conditions increased by 34% in adults with cancer vs. those without cancer after adjustment. Conclusions: In US adults with cancer, the treated prevalence of common chronic conditions was high and health expenses associated with chronic conditions were higher than those without cancer. A holistic treatment plan is needed to improve cost outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number981
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 19 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Health expenses
  • Health utilization
  • Multiple chronic conditions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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