Chronic problems were the most common reason for office visits to physicians in 2014, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

That year, chronic problems were the major reason for 40% of all office-based physician visits, making them significantly more common than the other four broad categories of visit types: new problem (26%), preventive care (19%), injury (9%), and pre- or postsurgery care (6%), the NCHS said in a recent Data Brief.

Those numbers are almost matched by adults aged 18-64 years, whose visits to office-based physicians were 40% chronic problems, 25% new problems, 18% preventive care, 10% injuries, and 6% pre- or postsurgery care. Adults aged 65 years and older were significantly more likely than were other age groups to see a physician for a chronic problem (51% of visits) and significantly less likely than were younger adults to have an injury (8%), the report’s authors said.

Children were significantly more likely to have a new problem (41% of visits) or get preventive care (32%) than were the other age groups and were significantly less likely to have a chronic problem (18%) or to receive pre- or postsurgery care (2%), according to data from the 2014 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, which included 45,710 visit records from 9,989 physicians.

SOURCE: Ashman JJ et al. NCHS Data Brief. 2017;(292):1-8e.


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