Joan S. Tucker, Ph.D.
Senior Behavioral Scientist
Santa Monica, CA
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: In light of young adults’ expanding access to cannabis through legalization for recreational use, there has been growing interest in the co-use of cannabis with tobacco/nicotine products. Although existing data show that young adults who use cannabis products also tend to use tobacco/nicotine products, little is known about how these products are typically used together.
Existing research on co-use has mostly focused on combustible products, not accounting for the recent proliferation in cannabis and tobacco/nicotine product types and methods of use (e.g., vaping). Further, not much is known about whether there are important differences between types of co-use (e.g., using both products on the same occasion, one right after another, but not mixing them vs. using both products by mixing them in the same delivery device) in terms of heaviness of use, consequences from use, or associations with young adult functioning.
This study was designed as an important first step toward understanding cannabis and tobacco/nicotine co-use behavior among young adults and addressing these gaps in the research literature.
Kandice A. Kapinos, Ph.D. Economist
Pardee RAND Graduate School
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: The economic burden of osteoporotic fractures is substantial with studies estimating the annual healthcare cost burden between $10 to 17 billion. Although estimates from individual studies vary, most studies assessing costs after a fracture only explore up to twelve months following a fracture. There is little investigation of how fracture patients’ costs evolve over a longer post-fracture period.
As osteoporotic fractures are one of the most common causes of disability among older adults and can translate into greater medical costs, we focused on studying Medicare beneficiaries. In fact, previous research has suggested that most of the increase in Medicare spending over time can be explained from costs associated with treating higher risk Medicare beneficiaries.
Our objective in this study was to compare health care costs over a 3-year period of those who experienced a fracture to those who did not among a sample of Medicare beneficiaries who were at an increased risk of having a fracture.
Consistent with previous studies, we found a significant increase in expenditures in the year immediately following a fracture relative to controls: almost $14,000 higher for fractures relative to controls. However, at 2 and 3-years post-fracture, there were no significant differences in the change in expenditures between fracture cases and controls. We note that these findings may be different for beneficiaries living in skilled nursing facilities or other non-community-based settings.
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