Evaluating Heart Disease Prescriptions-Filled as a Proxy for Heart Disease Prevalence Rates
RONALD E. COSSMAN, JERALYNN S. COSSMAN, WESLEY L. JAMES, TROY BLANCHARD, RICHARD K. THOMAS, LOUIS G. POL, ARTHUR G. COSBY, and DAVID M. MIRVIS
JHHSA, Vol. 30 No. 4, (2008)
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Yet,
prevalence rates are not reported at the county level. Not knowing how
many have the disease, and where they are, may be a knowledge barrier
to effective health care interventions. We use heart disease drug
prescriptions-filled as a proxy measure for prevalence of heart disease.
We test the correlation to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and find positive, statistically significant correlations.
Next we illustrate the geographic patterns revealed using the county-
level prevalence estimate maps. This information can be used to
provide a better understanding of sub-state variations in disease
patterns and subsequently target the delivery of health resources to
small areas in need.
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