Nationwide survey to evaluate medical utilization by patients with inguinal hernia and the risk of developing varicocele in Taiwan
Wen-Liang Liu1,* Yu-An Chen,2 Yu-Wei Lai,3,4,* Thomas Y Hsueh,3,4 Shiou-Sheng Chen,3,4 Allen W Chiu4
1Taipei Databank for Public Health Analysis, Institute of Clinical Research and Teaching, Taipei City Hospital, 2Institute of Preventive Medicine, National Taiwan University, 3Division of Urology, Taipei City Hospital Renai Branch, 4Department of Urology, School of Medicine and Shu-Tien Urological Institute, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
*These authors are joint first authors
Background: The purpose of this study was to analyze age, geographical and seasonal variations in medical service utilization by patients with inguinal hernia in Taiwan, and the influence of herniorrhaphy on development of ipsilateral varicocele in male patients.
Methods: Between 2001 and 2008, comprehensive data on the characteristics of medical service utilization by patients with inguinal hernia was evaluated via a retrospective nationwide population-based study. Data were obtained from the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan. Parameters for comparison included newly diagnosed inguinal hernia cases, number of herniorrhaphies, and incidence rates every year, number of outpatient visits for inguinal hernia, and herniorrhaphy by age, season, and area of Taiwan.
Results: There was an average of 1,466 newly diagnosed inguinal hernia cases and 871.9 herniorrhaphies performed per year per million population during the study period. The male ratio for both newly diagnosed inguinal hernia cases and number of herniorrhaphies increased significantly by age. The number of newly diagnosed inguinal hernia cases and outpatient visits for inguinal hernia was highest during summer, followed by spring, autumn, and winter, and in the north of Taiwan, followed by the center, south, and east. Additionally, the incidence of developing ipsilateral varicocele after herniorrhaphy was low in male patients.
Conclusion: The number of newly diagnosed inguinal hernia cases and outpatient visits for inguinal hernia is highest during summer and lowest in eastern Taiwan. In addition, the incidence of developing ipsilateral varicocele after herniorrhaphy is higher in patients aged 10–19 years.
Keywords: age, herniorrhaphy, inguinal hernia, season, varicocele
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