An assessment of the diagnosed prevalence of diseases in men 50 years of age or older

Am J Manag Care. 2006 Mar;12(4 Suppl):S83-9.


Objective: A lack of focus on certain men's health problems has led to significant morbidity and mortality in aging men. Managed care must begin to focus on the conditions that are most prevalent in this fast-growing population in an effort to improve the quality of care. To assist in achieving this goal, a naturalistic retrospective study assessing the prevalence of the 10 leading disorders in men older than the age of 50 was conducted, with an additional focus on men eligible for Medicare.

Methods: Claims data were obtained from the Integrated Health Care Information Solutions National Managed Care Benchmark database (Waltham, Mass), that includes data from 30 health plans covering more than 25 million lives, and from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, representing men from a 5% random sample of Medicare-eligible patients. Men older than 50 years of age were included in the study. The prevalence of all diseases was determined in the 2003 calendar year for each population. Prevalence was calculated by dividing the number of diagnosed cases of a disease by the total person-time observations within the 2003 period.

Results: The results indicate that cardiovascular (ie, coronary artery disease [CAD], hypertension, and arrhythmias), urological (ie, enlarged prostate and prostate cancer), and musculoskeletal disorders (ie, osteoarthritis and bursitis) comprise 70% of the 10 leading diseases. CAD and hypertension ranked first and second across all age categories, whereas enlarged prostate ranked fourth. In men older than 50, diabetes ranked third, whereas cataracts ranked third in Medicare-eligible men.

Conclusion: The diseases identified in this study have the potential to cause significant clinical and economic implications when poorly treated or undertreated. Therefore, there is a need to institute early treatment for these conditions before they progress and require more extensive and costly interventions.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Disease / classification*
  • Epidemiologic Studies*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States