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Higher Diet Quality Does Not Predict Lower Medicare Costs but Does Predict Number of Claims in Mid-Aged Australian Women
Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Health Sciences, University of Newcastle, HA12, Hunter Building, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Herston Road, Herston QLD 4006, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 November 2010; in revised form: 7 December 2010 / Accepted: 6 January 2011 / Published: 7 January 2011
Abstract: Optimal dietary quality, indicated by higher diet quality index scores, reflects greater adherence to National dietary recommendations and is also associated with lower morbidity and mortality from chronic disease. Whether this is reflected in lower health care cost over time has rarely been examined. The aim of this study was to examine whether higher diet quality, as measured by the Australian Recommended Food Score (ARFS), was associated with lower health care costs within the mid-aged cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. We found that there was a statistically significant association between five year cumulative costs and ARFS, but in the opposite direction to that predicted, with those in the highest quintiles of ARFS having higher health care costs. However the number of Medicare claims over the six year period (2002–2007) was lower for those in the highest compared with the lowest quintile, p = 0.002. There is a need to monitor both costs and claims over time to examine health care usage in the longer term in order to determine whether savings are eventually obtained for those with the dietary patterns that adhere more closely to National recommendations.
Keywords: diet quality; diet scores; diet index; nutrition surveys; Medicare; health costs
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Collins, C.E.; Patterson, A.; Fitzgerald, D. Higher Diet Quality Does Not Predict Lower Medicare Costs but Does Predict Number of Claims in Mid-Aged Australian Women. Nutrients 2011, 3, 40-48.
Collins CE, Patterson A, Fitzgerald D. Higher Diet Quality Does Not Predict Lower Medicare Costs but Does Predict Number of Claims in Mid-Aged Australian Women. Nutrients. 2011; 3(1):40-48.
Collins, Clare E.; Patterson, Amanda; Fitzgerald, David. 2011. "Higher Diet Quality Does Not Predict Lower Medicare Costs but Does Predict Number of Claims in Mid-Aged Australian Women." Nutrients 3, no. 1: 40-48.