BackgroundThe study goal was to assess indices of continuity of care in the primary care setting and their association with health outcomes and healthcare services utilization, given the reported importance of continuity regarding quality of care and healthcare utilization.MethodsThe study included a random sample of enrollees from Clalit Health Services 19 years-of-age or older who visited their primary care clinic at least three times in 2009. Indices of continuity of care were computed, including the Usual Provider Index (UPC), Modified Modified Continuity Index (MMCI), Continuity of Care Index (COC), and Sequential Continuity (SECON). Quality measures of preventive medicine and healthcare services utilization and their costs were assessed as outcomes.Results1,713 randomly sampled patients were included in the study (mean age: 48.9 ± 19.2, 42% males). Continuity of care indices were: UPC: 0.75; MMCI: 0.81; COC: 0.67; SECON: 0.70. After controlling for patient characteristics in a multivariate analysis, a statistically significant association was found between higher values of UPC, COC, and SECON and a decrease in the number and cost of ED visits. Higher MMCI values were associated with a greater number and higher costs of medical consultation visits. Continuity of care indices were associated with BMI measurements, and inversely associated with blood pressure measurements. No association was found with other quality indicators, e.g., screening tests for cancer.ConclusionsSeveral continuity of care indices were associated with decreased number and costs of ED visits. There were both positive and negative associations of continuity of care indices with different aspects of healthcare utilization. The relatively small effects of continuity might be due to the consistently high levels of continuity in Clalit Health Services.
Data regarding the association between atopic dermatitis (AD) and the metabolic syndrome are controversial.
To evaluate the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome and its components in a large group of patients with AD compared to a matched reference group.
A cross‐sectional study of AD patients diagnosed by a dermatologist between 1998 and 2016, and a matched comparison group was performed. We analysed the association between AD and metabolic syndrome, its components and possible complications for the entire study population, adults (age > 18) and adults with moderate‐to‐severe AD.
The study included 116 816 patients with AD and 116 812 comparison enrollees. AD in the entire group of patients and in the adult patients was associated with a higher prevalence of dyslipidaemia and a lower prevalence of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Moderate and severe AD were associated, respectively, with higher prevalence rates of the metabolic syndrome (17.0% vs. 9.4%), its components (obesity: 22.2% vs. 18.6%; diabetes: 15.9% vs. 9.2%; hypertension 27.9% vs. 15.3%; dyslipidaemia 47.1% vs. 28.5%, all P values < 0.001) and cardiovascular morbidity (all P values < 0.001). Multivariate analysis demonstrated a significant overrepresentation of the metabolic syndrome in moderate‐to‐severe AD (P = 0.04).
Severely affected patients with AD may have one or more undiagnosed components of metabolic syndrome.
In a milieu of adhesive macromolecules, lipids and inflammation-sensitive proteins including fibrinogen, total cholesterol, triglycerides, hs-CRP and immunoglobins G, M and A, fibrinogen has a dominant role in maintaining the red blood cell adhesiveness/aggregation in the peripheral venous blood. These findings are relevant for the research directed at finding new apheretic modalities to reduce the degree of red blood cell adhesiveness/aggregation in the peripheral blood.
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