Tobacco use appeared associated with significantly increased health care costs, as well as the number of hospitalizations for patients with periphery artery disease, according to study results published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
“The results suggest that immediate provision of tobacco cessation programs may be especially cost-effective,” Sue Duval, PhD, of the vascular medicine program and cardiovascular division and Lillehei Heart Institute at University of Minnesota Medical School, and colleagues wrote.
Duval and colleagues retrospectively evaluated 2011 claims data from a Minnesota health plan.
Their analysis included patients with more than 12 months of enrollment and one or more periphery artery disease (PAD)-related claim.
The researchers identified 22,203 patients with PAD-related claims, including 1,995 patients who used tobacco. A subgroup of 9,027 individuals with pharmacy benefits included 1,158 people who had used tobacco.
Duval and colleagues used enrollment data to determine total cost, primary diagnosis at discharge and the annual number of health plan members who were hospitalized during the year.
They reported 22,220 admissions overall during the data period, with 8,152 admissions in the pharmacy benefits group.
Nearly half of tobacco users were hospitalized within 1 year, according to the results. Hospitalizations were 35% higher than non-tobacco users overall (P < .001) and 30% higher in the pharmacy benefits subgroup (P < .001).
In both groups, tobacco users appeared significantly more likely to be admitted for peripheral or visceral atherosclerosis (P < .001) acute myocardial infarction (P < .001) and coronary heart disease (P < .05).
Overall, total costs were $64,041 for tobacco users vs. $45,918 for non-users. Researchers reported consistently higher costs among tobacco users for professional and facility-based care, and the trend persisted after adjustments for insurance type, comorbidities, age and sex. – by Jeff Craven
Disclosure: Healio.com was unable to confirm the researchers’ relevant financial disclosures.