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Physical inactivity link to CVD and hospital costs

Hospital episode statistics can be used as an effective outcome measure in the epidemiology of circulatory disease, according to a study1 published recently in Clinical Epidemiology. The study also asserts the potential importance of physical inactivity in the disease process.

Researchers explored the use of hospital episode statistics for improving our ability to detect the causes of and intervene in global epidemics, and estimate the strength of the association of circulatory disease-related events with physical inactivity.

The primary research was set in a mid-sized city in central England. Aggregation was at output area level (comprising ~300 residents); 51 of which were included. A random sample of 761 adults was selected to obtain estimates of the mean level of physical activity within each area. Circulatory disease hospital events were recorded and aggregated by output area over a 2-year period. Hierarchical linear modelling was used to establish the strength of the association between area-level physical activity and circulatory disease events. Sex, age, and reporting quarter were included as additional individual-level explanatory variables.

Areas reporting greater activity were less likely (event rate ratio = 0.855; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.78–0.94) to have a circulatory disease event, as were females (0.593; 95% CI: 0.47–0.75). Areas with older residents (1.578; 95% CI: 1.5–1.66) and later reporting quarters (1.095; 95% CI: 1.04–1.15) were more likely to report circulatory disease events.


1. Davey RC, Cochrane T. Association of physical inactivity with circulatory disease events and hospital treatment costs. Clin Epidemiol 2013;5:111–8.

Published on: May 22, 2013

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