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Salud Pública de México

Print version ISSN 0036-3634


VILLARREAL-RIOS, Enrique et al. The medical care costs of hypertension and their impact on health care resources in Mexico. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2002, vol.44, n.1, pp.7-13. ISSN 0036-3634.

Objective. To assess the medical care costs of hypertension and their impact on the health care expenditures and on Mexico's Gross National Product (GNP). Material and Methods. An ecological study was conducted from June to November 1999, at Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (Mexican Institute of Social Security, IMSS), in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. A random sample of medical charts of patients with hypertension was selected, to extract data on utilization of health services and unitary costs per care episode. The cost per care episode and per hypertensive patient was calculated by adjusting the unitary cost as a function of standard and extreme utilization of IMSS health services. The resulting figure was then projected to the total population of hypertensive patients and compared to the annual health care expenditures of Mexico. Results. The annual cost per patient with hypertension was $1,067 in the standard scenario and $3,913 in the extreme scenario. The annual expenditures from hypertension corresponded to 13.95% of the budget allocated to health care and to 0.71%, of Mexico's GNP. These figures changed to 51.17% and 2.61% in the extreme scenario, respectively. Conclusions. The costs of hypertension medical care account for a good portion of healthcare resources. This problem should be analyzed by multidisciplinary health teams in search of more efficient medical care alternatives.

Keywords : cost; hypertension; utilization; Mexico.

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