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Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin. 2012 Oct;30(8):458-62. doi: 10.1016/j.eimc.2012.01.007. Epub 2012 Feb 28.

Differences in the use of health resources by Spanish and immigrant HIV-infected patients.

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Infectious Diseases Section, Internal Medicine, Hospital Universitario Fundación Alcorcón, Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain.



HIV-immigrant use of health services and related cost has hardly been analysed. We compared resource utilisation patterns and direct health care costs between Spanish and immigrant HIV-infected patients.


All HIV-infected adult patients treated during the years 2003-2005 (372 patients) in this hospital were included. We evaluated the number of out-patient, Emergency Room (ER) and Day-care Unit visits, and number and length of admissions. Direct costs were analysed. We compared all variables between immigrant and Spanish patients.


Immigrants represented 12% (n=43) of the cohort. There were no differences in the number of out-patient, ER, and day-care hospital visits per patient between both groups. The number of hospital admissions per patient for any cause was higher in immigrant than in Spanish patients, 1.3 (4.4) versus 0.9 (2.7), P=.034. A high proportion of visits, both for the immigrant (45.1%) and Spanish patients (43.0%), took place in services other than Infectious Diseases. Mean unitary cost per patient per admission, out-patient visits and ER visits were similar between groups. Pharmacy costs per year was higher in Spanish patients than in immigrants (7351.8 versus 7153.9 euros [year 2005], P=.012). There were no differences in the total cost per patient per year between both groups. The global distribution of cost was very similar between both groups; almost 75% of the total cost was attributed to pharmacy in both groups.


There are no significant differences in health resource utilisation and associated costs between immigrant and Spanish HIV patients.

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