Health care costs have been increasing year by year and health programs are needed which will allow reduction in the burden. The present community-based ecological study examined the relationship between implementation of dental health care programs and health care costs for the metabolic syndrome. We calculated the monthly health care cost for the metabolic syndrome per capita for each municipality in Okayama Prefecture (n = 27) using the national health insurance receipts for 1997 and 2007 for diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cardiovascular disorder, cerebral vascular disorder, and atherosclerosis as principal diseases. Information was obtained from each municipality on the implementation of public dental health services consisting of 10 programs, including visits for oral hygiene guidance, health consultation for periodontal disease, preventive long-term care, participation of dental hygienists in public health service, programs for improving oral function in the aged, and etc. The municipalities were divided into two groups based on the implementation/non-implementation of each dental health program. Then, the change in health care cost for metabolic syndrome per capita between 1997 and 2007 was compared between the two groups according to each dental health program. RESULTS Health care costs for metabolic syndrome were reduced in decade in the municipalities which executed dental health care programs such as 'preventive long-term care' or 'health consultation for periodontal disease', being greater in the municipalities which did not. More decrease in health care costs was further observed in the municipalities where the other seven programs were also implemented. Any direct relationship between dental health programs and health care costs for the metabolic syndrome remains unclear. However, our data suggests that costs might be decreased in municipalities which can afford to implement dental health programs. Health care costs for the metabolic syndrome in municipalities which executed dental health care programs tended to decrease in ten years.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||[Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2010|
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