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Table 1 Participant characteristics at baseline and ambulatory care utilization in the subsequent 12 months, comparing those included (with ≥4 visits) to those excluded (with ≤3 visits)

From: Differences in ambulatory care fragmentation by race

Characteristic Included
(≥4 visits)
N = 6799
Excluded
(≤3 visits)
N = 1745
P-value
Demographic characteristics
 Age, years, mean (SD) 73.0 (5.9) 72.0 (5.5) < 0.0001
 Sex, female, N (%) 3573 (53) 734 (42) < 0.0001
 Race, black, N (%) 2042 (30) 561 (32) 0.09
 Marital status, married, N (%) 3962 (58) 1064 (61) 0.04
 Annual household income, <$35,000, N (%) 3251 (48) 862 (49) 0.16
 Education, high school or less, N (%) 2779 (41) 691 (40) 0.40
 Geographic region, N (%)
  Stroke Belta 2428 (36) 641 (37) 0.001
  Stroke Buckleb 1628 (24) 347 (20)
  Neither Stroke Belt nor Stroke Buckle 2743 (40) 757 (43)
 Rural geography, N (%) 612 (10) 179 (11) 0.08
Medical conditionsc
 Hypertension, N (%) 4543 (67) 976 (56) < 0.0001
 Dyslipidemia, N (%) 4246 (65) 994 (59) < 0.0001
 Diabetes, N (%) 1580 (24) 264 (16) < 0.0001
 Atrial fibrillation, N (%) 816 (12) 92 (5) < 0.0001
 Myocardial infarction, N (%) 1168 (18) 234 (14) < 0.0001
 Stroke, N (%) 576 (9) 106 (6) < 0.001
Medications
 Number of medications, median (25th, 75th percentiles) 7 (4, 10) 4 (2, 7) < 0.0001
 Anti-hypertensive medication, N (%) 4054 (61) 771 (44) < 0.0001
 Insulin use, N (%) 412 (6) 50 (3) 0.04
 Statin use, N (%) 2841 (40) 527 (30) < 0.001
Health behaviors
 Current smoker, N (%) 566 (8) 211 (12) < 0.0001
 Alcohol use, moderate or heavy, N (%) 2242 (34) 617 (36) 0.02
 Exercise frequency, 0 times per week, N (%) 2467 (37) 564 (33) < 0.001
Psychosocial variables
 Cares for a family member with a chronic illness or disability, N (%) 715 (11) 177 (10) 0.65
 Lack of social support, N (%) 274 (4) 81 (5) 0.24
 Depressive symptoms, N (%) 620 (9) 118 (7) < 0.01
Physiological variables
 Body mass index, kg/m2, median (25th, 75th percentiles) 27.6 (24.6, 31.3) 27.3 (24.4, 30.5) < 0.01
 Systolic blood pressure, mm Hg, median (25th, 75th percentiles) 129 (119, 139) 129 (120, 140) 0.26
 Total cholesterol, mg/dL, median (25th, 75th percentiles) 183 (159, 210) 190 (166, 220) < 0.0001
 Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, mg/dL, median (25th, 75th percentiles) 105 (85, 129) 114 (92, 137) < 0.0001
 High-density lipoprotein cholesterol, mg/dL, median (25th, 75th percentiles) 49 (40, 61) 49 (39, 60) 0.68
 Glucose, mg/dL, median (25th, 75th percentiles) 95 (87, 109) 94 (88, 105) 0.04
 Estimated glomerular filtration rate, mL/min/1.73 m2, median (25th, 75th percentiles) 78.1 (63.6, 89.5) 83.0 (71.0, 90.7) < 0.0001
 Urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio, mg/g, median (25th, 75th percentiles) 9.1 (5.3, 20.2) 7.4 (4.8, 15.4) < 0.0001
 C-reactive protein, mg/L, median (25th, 75th percentiles) 2.1 (0.9, 4.8) 1.8 (0.9, 4.2) < 0.001
Self-rated health
 Self-rated general health, N (%)    
  Excellent 966 (14) 421 (24) < 0.0001
  Very good 2079 (31) 609 (35)
  Good 2495 (37) 511 (29)
  Fair 1022 (15) 165 (10)
  Poor 224 (3) 36 (2)
Ambulatory utilization
 Number of ambulatory visits, median (25th, 75th percentile) 10 (7, 15) 2 (0, 3) < 0.0001
 Number of ambulatory providers, median (25th, 75th percentile) 4 (3, 6) 1 (0, 2) < 0.0001
 Proportion of visits with the most frequently seen provider, median (25th, 75th percentile) d 0.44 (0.33, 0.58)
 Fragmentation score (reversed Bice-Boxerman Index), median (25th, 75th percentile) d 0.78 (0.65, 0.86)
  1. a Stroke Belt = North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Arkansas (except for 153 coastal counties that constitute the Stroke Buckle) [17]
  2. b Stroke Buckle = 153 coastal counties in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia [17, 18]
  3. c See Appendix 1 for detailed definitions of variables
  4. d Proportion of visits with the most frequently seen provider and fragmentation scores are not reliable if based on ≤3 visits [12]
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