Objectives. The study aimed to assess the burden of RA among the US Medicare population (aged 65 years) by comparing co-morbidities, health-care resource utilization (HCRU) and costs against matched non-RA Medicare patients.
Methods. Data were obtained from the Medicare fee-for-service claims database from 2010 to 2013. RA Medicare patients were identically matched with Medicare patients without RA (controls) based on demographics. Bivariate analyses were conducted to examine differences between cohorts for comorbidities, HCRU and costs. A generalized linear model was used to test relationships between patient-level characteristics, HCRU and costs.
Results. The study population included 115 867 RA patients and 115 867 age-, sex-, race- and region-matched non-RA controls. Mean age was 75.2 years; 79.4% were female. Co-morbidities were greater in RA vs non-RA patients [Charlson Co-morbidity Index (excluding RA): 1.86 vs 1.00; P
Conclusions. Among US Medicare patients, those with an RA diagnosis had a significantly greater burden of co-morbidities, HCRU and costs compared with a matched cohort without RA.