The purpose of this study was to assess whether the relationship between obesity and use of medical visits is different for geriatric patients than for other adults. A retrospective analysis was conducted using medical records drawn from a large group practice in Rochester, Minnesota. Adult patients (n = 1715) were sorted into 2 groups (frequent visitors and others). Separate multiple logistic regression models were estimated for geriatric and non-geriatric patients. Patients who were 65 years of age or older with moderate comorbidity had elevated odds of being frequent visitors (odds ratio [OR] = 6.13, confidence interval [CI] = 3.27-11.49), compared to patients with no comorbidity. Body mass index (BMI), gender, and marital status were unrelated to visit frequency in the geriatric group. Younger patients with a BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2 had greater odds of being frequent visitors compared to patients with normal body mass, after adjusting for comorbidity, age, marital status, and gender (OR = 1.96, CI = 1.31-2.92). ORs also were significantly greater for subjects with low (OR = 2.13, CI = 1.51-3.01) and moderate comorbidity (OR = 3.32, CI = 2.32-4.76) versus no comorbidity. In our sample of family medicine patients who were referred to specialists, BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2 is an independent risk factor for frequent utilization of medical visits among adults who are younger than age 65, but not among geriatric patients. Comorbidity is strongly related to visit frequency among both older and younger adult patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Leadership and Management
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health