Melbourne Medical School Collected Works - Research Publications

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    Examining the impact of reimbursement on referral to bone density testing for older adults: 8 years of data from the Barwon Statistical Division, Australia
    Brennan, SL ; Kotowicz, MA ; Sarah, B ; Leslie, WD ; Ebeling, PR ; Metge, CJ ; Dobbins, AG ; Pasco, JA (SPRINGER LONDON LTD, 2013-12-01)
    UNLABELLED: In 2007, Medicare Australia revised rei:mbursement guidelines for dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) for Australians aged ≥70 years; we examined whether these changes increased DXA referrals in older adults. Proportions of DXA referrals doubled for men and tripled for women from 2003 to 2010; however, rates of utilization remained low. INTRODUCTION: On April 1, 2007 Medicare Australia revised reimbursement guidelines for DXA for Australians aged ≥70 year; changes that were intended to increase the proportion of older adults being tested. We examined whether changes to reimbursement increased DXA referrals in older adults, and whether any sex differences in referrals were observed in the Barwon Statistical Division. METHODS: Proportions of DXA referrals 2003-2010 based on the population at risk ascertained from Australian Census data and annual referral rates and rate ratios stratified by sex, year of DXA, and 5-year age groups. Persons aged ≥70 years referred to the major public health service provider for DXA clinical purposes (n = 6,096; 21 % men). RESULTS: DXA referrals. Proportions of DXA referrals for men doubled from 0.8 % (2003) to 1.8 % (2010) and tripled from 2.0 to 6.3 % for women (all p < 0.001). For 2003-2006, referral ratios of men/women ranged between 1:1.9 and 1:3.0 and for 2007-2010 were 1:2.3 to 1:3.4. Referral ratios <2007:≥2007 were 1:1.7 for men aged 70-79 years (p < 0.001), 1:1.2 for men aged 80-84 years (p = 0.06), and 1:1.3 for men 85+ years (p = 0.16). For women, the ratios <2007:≥2007 were 1:2.1 (70-79 years), 1.1.5 (80-84 years), and 1:1.4 (85+ years) (all p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: DXA referral ratios were 1:1.6 (men) and 1:1.8 (women) for 2007-2010 vs. 2003-2006; proportions of referrals doubled for men and tripled for women from 2003 to 2010. Overall, rates of DXA utilization remained low. Policy changes may have had minimal influence on referral; thus, ongoing evaluation over time is warranted.
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    Musculoskeletal decline and mortality: prospective data from the Geelong Osteoporosis Study
    Pasco, JA ; Mohebbi, M ; Holloway, KL ; Brennan-Olsen, SL ; Hyde, NK ; Kotowicz, MA (WILEY, 2017-06-01)
    BACKGROUND: We aimed to examine the relationship between musculoskeletal deterioration and all-cause mortality in a cohort of women studied prospectively over a decade. METHODS: A cohort of 750 women aged 50-94 years was followed for a decade after femoral neck bone mineral density (BMD) and appendicular lean mass (ALM) were measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, in conjunction with comorbidities, health behaviour data, and other clinical measures. The outcome was all-cause mortality identified from the Australian National Deaths Index. Using Cox proportional hazards models and age as the time variable, mortality risks were estimated according to BMD groups (ideal-BMD, osteopenia, and osteoporosis) and ALM groups (T-scores > -1.0 high, -2.0 to -1.0 medium, <-2.0 low). RESULTS: During 6712 person years of follow-up, there were 190 deaths, the proportions increasing with diminishing BMD: 10.7% (23/215) ideal-BMD, 23.5% (89/378) osteopenia, 49.7% (78/157) osteoporosis; and with diminishing ALM: 17.0% (59/345) high, 26.2% (79/301) medium, 50.0% (52/104) low. In multivariable models adjusted for smoking, polypharmacy, and mobility, compared with those with ideal BMD, mortality risk was greater for those with osteopenia [hazard ratio (HR) 1.77, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.11-2.81] and osteoporosis (HR 2.61, 95%CI 1.60-4.24). Similarly, compared with those with high ALM, adjusted mortality risk was greater for medium ALM (HR 1.36, 95%CI 0.97-1.91) and low ALM (HR 1.65, 95%CI 1.11-2.45). When BMD and ALM groups were tested together in the model, BMD remained a predictor of mortality (HR 1.74, 95%CI 1.09-2.78; HR 2.82, 95%CI 1.70-4.70; respectively), and low ALM had borderline significance (HR 1.52, 95%CI 1.00-2.31), which was further attenuated after adjusting for smoking, polypharmacy, and mobility. CONCLUSIONS: Poor musculoskeletal health increased the risk for mortality independent of age. This appears to be driven mainly by a decline in bone mass. Low lean mass independently exacerbated mortality risk, and this appeared to operate through poor health exposures.