Population-Based Analysis of Incidence Rates of Cancer and Noncancer Chronic Diseases in the US Elderly Using NLTCS/Medicare-Linked Database
The age, disability, and comorbidity patterns of incidence rates of cancer and chronic noncancer diseases such as heart failure, diabetes mellitus, asthma, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, skin melanoma, and cancers of breast, prostate, lung, and colon were studied for the US elderly population (aged 65+) using the National Long-Term Care Survey (NLTCS) data linked to Medicare records for 1991–2005. Opposite to breast cancer and asthma, incidence rates of heart failure and Alzheimer's
... re and Alzheimer's diseases were increasing with age. Higher incidence rates of heart failure, diabetes, asthma, and Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases were observed among individuals with severe disabilities or/and comorbidities, while rates of breast and prostate cancers were higher among those with minor disabilities or fewer comorbidities. Our results were in agreement with those obtained from other epidemiological datasets, thus suggesting that Medicare administrative records can provide nationally representative incidence rates. Detailed sensitivity analysis that focused on the effects of alternative onset definitions, latent censoring, study design, and other procedural uncertainties showed the stability of reconstructed incidence rates. This Medicare-linked dataset can be used for studying highly debated effects of new medical technologies on aging-related diseases burden and future Medicare costs.