The prevalence of chronic conditions and medical expenditures of the elderly by chronic condition indicator (CCI)

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2011 May-Jun;52(3):284-9. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2010.04.017. Epub 2010 May 10.


The aim of this study was to understand the prevalence of chronic conditions and medical expenditures of the elderly for health care planning development of chronic conditions. This research is based on the representative sample (N=114,873) of seniors over 65 years nationwide. The CCI by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and clinical classifications software (CCS) were adopted to determine chronic condition diagnosis codes and classify the diseases. The results are presented by descriptive and multiple regression analysis. The chronic condition prevalence for seniors is 70.4% and the medical expenditures for seniors with chronic conditions accounts for 92.7% of the total medical expenditures for seniors, while 25% of the medical expenditure is spent on 8.2% of seniors who have five chronic conditions and above. Chronic conditions suffered by the elderly, in the order of its prevalence, are hypertension (36.1%), COPD (23.7%), and cataracts (16.7%). From the viewpoint of annual average medical expenditures, cardiovascular diseases rank the most costly diseases, with average medical expenditures as high as $4291. Urinary disease and diabetes ranks the second and the third most costly with an average expenditure of $3644 and $3594. This research showed that the average medical expenditure for seniors with chronic conditions is 5.4 times higher compared with seniors without chronic conditions. It is recommended to further study the characteristics of the target population that spends the most in medical expenditures to outline a more beneficial disease management model, reduce avoidable medical costs and achieve the goal of saving medical resources.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / economics
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cataract / economics
  • Cataract / epidemiology
  • Chronic Disease / economics*
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Cost of Illness
  • Diabetes Mellitus / economics
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / economics
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / economics
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology
  • Taiwan
  • Urinary Tract Infections / economics
  • Urinary Tract Infections / epidemiology