Journal of Epidemiology
Online ISSN : 1349-9092
Print ISSN : 0917-5040
ISSN-L : 0917-5040
Household Income Relationship With Health Services Utilization and Healthcare Expenditures in People Aged 75 Years or Older in Japan: A Population-Based Study Using Medical and Long-term Care Insurance Claims Data
Shota HamadaHideto TakahashiNobuo SakataBoyoung JeonTakahiro MoriKatsuya IijimaSatoru YoshieTatsuro IshizakiNanako Tamiya
ジャーナル オープンアクセス 早期公開

論文ID: JE20180055


Background: This study aimed to determine whether there are disparities in healthcare services utilization according to household income among people aged 75 years or older in Japan.

Methods: We used data on medical and long-term care (LTC) insurance claims and on LTC insurance premiums and needs levels for people aged 75 years or older in a suburban city. Data on people receiving public welfare were not available. Participants were categorized according to household income level using LTC insurance premiums data. The associations of low income with physician visit frequency, length of hospital stay (LOS), and medical and LTC expenditures were evaluated and adjusted for 5-year age groups and LTC needs level.

Results: The study analyzed 12,852 men and 18,020 women, among which 13.3% and 41.5%, respectively, were categorized as low income. Participants with low income for both genders were more likely to be functionally dependent. In the adjusted analyses, lower income was associated with fewer physician visits (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 0.90; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.87–0.92 for men and IRR 0.97; 95% CI, 0.95–0.99 for women), longer LOS (IRR 1.98; 95% CI, 1.54–2.56 and IRR 1.42; 95% CI, 1.20–1.67, respectively), and higher total expenditures (exp(β) 1.09; 95% CI, 1.01–1.18 and exp(β) 1.09; 95% CI, 1.05–1.14, respectively).

Conclusions: This study suggests that older people with lower income had fewer consultations with physicians but an increased use of inpatient services. The income categorization used in this study may be an appropriate proxy of socioeconomic status.

© 2018 Shota Hamada et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.