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J Health Hum Serv Adm. 2008 Spring;30(4):503-28.

Evaluating heart disease presciptions-filled as a proxy for heart disease prevalence rates.

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  • 1Mississippi State University, USA.


Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Yet, prevalence rates are not reported at the county level. Not knowing how many have the disease, and where they are, may be a knowledge barrier to effective health care interventions. We use heart disease drug prescriptions-filled as a proxy measure for prevalence of heart disease. We test the correlation to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and find positive, statistically significant correlations. Next we illustrate the geographic patterns revealed using the county-level prevalence estimate maps. This information can be used to provide a better understanding of sub-state variations in disease patterns and subsequently target the delivery of health resources to small areas in need.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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