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Hospital outpatient department and office-based provider visits for high cholesterol and other conditions soared in a decade

Research Activities, April 2009

Americans visited a hospital outpatient department or office-based provider for high cholesterol 300 percent more often in 2006 than they did in 1996, according to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). This translates to 44 million visits for treatment of high cholesterol in 2006.

Trauma-related disorders and mental disorders prompted the most visits in 2006, just as they did in 1996. In addition to high cholesterol, AHRQ's analysis included other health conditions that showed significant growth in visits between 1996 and 2006. Visits for:

  • Kidney disease grew 112 percent (41 million in 2006).
  • Thyroid disease grew 96 percent (20.9 million).
  • Diabetes grew 96 percent (70 million).
  • Gallbladder, pancreatic, and liver disease grew 94 percent (8.6 million).
  • Upper gastrointestinal disorders such as acid reflux grew 76 percent (22.3 million).

This analysis was based on data from AHRQ's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (http://meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb). MEPS collects information each year from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households about their health care use, expenses, access to services, health status, and the quality of the health care they obtained.

Current as of April 2009
Internet Citation: Hospital outpatient department and office-based provider visits for high cholesterol and other conditions soared in a decade: Research Activities, April 2009. April 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://archive.ahrq.gov/news/research-activities/apr09/0409RA35.html