Background Information about the relationship between the number of established cardiovascular disease risk factors and medical costs is limited.
Methods A linked analysis of the medical costs and health examination measures was performed in Shiga, Japan. Medical costs information for the period April 2000–May 2006 was collected from the Shiga National Health Insurance Organization database. Corresponding data for 38 890 individuals (age, ≥40 years) generated during annual health examination conducted between 2000 and 2003 were collected from the local municipalities in the Shiga prefecture. These data were merged by name, sex, and dates of birth. Median and interquartile were used to compare the annual medical costs among groups with different number of risk factors. The risk factors were hypertension (SBP ≥140 or DBP ≥90), high cholesterol (total cholesterol ≥240) and blood glucose levels (casual blood glucose ≥126), and smoking.
Results The median total annual medical cost in the group with no risk factors was 217 149 Yen for men and 147 880 Yen for women. The median total annual medical cost in the group with four risk factors was 1.28 times higher in men (278 651 Yen) and 1.80 times higher in women (265.788 Yen), as compared to that in the group with no risk factors. These trends were most apparent in outpatients (men: 1.47 times (127 205 Yen vs 186 811 Yen); women: 2.23 times (94 648 Yen vs 211 123 Yen)).
Conclusion Annual medical costs increase with an increase in the number of cardiovascular disease risk factors in the Japanese population.
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