and back pain rank among the most common conditions for visits to health care
providers, according to a new Mayo Clinic Proceedings
The Mayo team used the Rochester Epidemiology Project, a unique,
comprehensive medical records linkage system, to track more than 140,000
Olmsted County, Minnesota, residents who visited Mayo Clinic, Olmsted Medical
Center, and other Olmsted County health care providers between January 1, 2005,
and December 31, 2009. Researchers then systematically categorized patient
diagnoses into disease groups. The top disease groups
the most prevalent nonacute conditions in our community were not chronic
conditions related to aging, such as diabetes and heart disease, but rather
conditions that affect both genders and all age groups," says Jennifer St
Sauver, PhD, primary author of the study.
authors say their finding of skin and back problems as major drivers of health
care utilization affirms the importance of moving beyond the commonly
recognized health care priorities such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer.
"Our findings highlight opportunities to improve health care and decrease
costs related to common nonacute conditions as we move forward through the
changing health care landscape," they write.