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Family members of people with alcohol or drug dependence: health problems and medical cost compared to family members of people with diabetes and asthma

Authors


G. Thomas Ray, Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente, 2000 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612, USA. E-mail tom.ray@kp.org

ABSTRACT

Aims  To compare the medical costs and prevalence of health conditions of family members of people with an alcohol or drug dependence (AODD) diagnosis to family members of people with diabetes and asthma.

Setting  Kaiser Permanente of Northern California (KPNC).

Participants  Family members of people diagnosed with AODD between 2002 and 2005, and matched samples of family members of people diagnosed with diabetes and asthma.

Measurements  Logistic regression was used to determine whether the family members of people with AODD were more likely to be diagnosed with medical conditions than family members of people with diabetes or asthma. Multivariate models were used to compare health services cost and utilization of AODD family members and diabetes and asthma family members. Analyses were for the year before, and 2 years following, initial diagnosis of the index person.

Findings  In the year before initial diagnosis of the index person, AODD family members were more likely to be diagnosed with substance use disorders, depression and trauma than diabetes or asthma family members. AODD family members had higher total health-care costs than diabetes family members in the year following, and the second year following, the index date ($217 and $293, respectively). AODD family members had higher total health-care costs than asthma family members in the year before, and second year following, the index date ($104 and $269, respectively).

Conclusions  AODD family members have unique patterns of health conditions compared to the diabetes and asthma family members and have similar, or higher, health-care cost and utilization.

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