2020 Volume 5, Issue 1, p1351
Introduction: Avoidable hospitalizations refer to acute care use for conditions that should normally be managed in primary care settings. Lower socioeconomic status has been shown to increase risk of hospitalization. However, use of ecological information has limited interpretation at the individual level. In addition, the joint effect of individual and neighbourhood socioeconomic status has not been established in the Canadian population.
Objectives: Determine the individual and joint effect of individual-level household income and neighbourhood-level material deprivation on risk of hospitalization for a chronic ambulatory care sensitive condition.
Methods: A pooled cohort was created by linking sociodemographic and health information from eight cycles of the Canadian Community Health Survey (2000/2001 - 2010) to hospital discharge records and Canadian Marginalization Indices (2001, 2006) (N = 354,595). The primary outcome variable was risk of index hospitalization with a primary diagnosis of angina, asthma, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, epilepsy, or hypertension. The primary exposure variable was joint individual-level national household income quintile and neighbourhood-level material deprivation quintile. Relative risk (RR) was estimated by constructing modified Poisson regression models with robust error variance.
Results: In fully adjusted models with income and deprivation considered separately, individuals in the lowest household income quintile and highest material deprivation quintile were at increased risk of hospitalization (Income RR: 1.82 (95% CI 1.56-2.13) Deprivation RR: 1.67 (1.44-1.95)). When income and deprivation were jointly considered, those with low individual income living in high deprivation neighbourhoods were at greatest risk of hospitalization (RR 1.83 (95% CI 1.63 - 2.05)).
Conclusions: Both individual income and neighbourhood deprivation separately and jointly increase risk of avoidable hospitalizations. Additional research is needed to understand their mechanisms of action. However, both levels should be considered when designing effective policies and interventions to reduce avoidable hospitalizations.
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