OBJECTIVE: This study evaluates the disease burden of sciatica on the US Medicare cohort. BACKGROUND DATA: Sciatica is a common disability that has important physical, mental, and economic effects. The Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) is a demographic and outcomes survey used to monitor the performance of Medicare Advantage health plans in the United States. The HOS includes data on demographics, chronic medical conditions, and patient-reported outcomes. METHODS: Medicare HOS data for cohorts from 2007 to 2013 were obtained. Patients were placed into two categories based on the survey results: with or without a history of sciatica. Baseline demographics, chronic medical conditions, and physical health symptoms were aggregated. In addition, average VR-12 physical component summary and mental component summary scores were calculated for each group at baseline and at 2-year follow-up. A Fisher exact test was used to assess significance for categorical variables, and a t-test was used for continuous variables. VR-12 changes as small as 1 to 2 units have been found to be clinically and socially relevant. RESULTS: The baseline cohort data of 1,000,952 patients yielded 250,869 patients (25%) who reported the diagnosis of sciatica, compared with 750,083 patients (75%) without sciatica. Patients with a history of sciatica tended to be younger, less educated, and notably with more medical comorbidities. Physical component summary outcomes were approximately 8 units lower in the sciatica group at baseline and 7 units lower at 2-year follow-up. Mental component summary outcomes were 6 units lower in the sciatica group at baseline and 5 units lower at 2-year follow-up. CONCLUSION: A large percentage of the US Medicare cohort suffers from symptomatic sciatica. Our study identified a 25% prevalence in the Medicare cohort. In addition, sciatica is associated with an increased incidence of comorbid medical conditions and poor health-related quality of life. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III STUDY DESIGN:: Observational-Cohort Study.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons|
|State||Published - May 15 2020|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine