Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare demographics and chief complaints of the new patient population at our institution's fee-for-service clinics to the patient population of practicing chiropractors in the United States. We also compared the prevalence of obesity and hypertension to reference standards for the adult population.
Methods: Patient data were obtained from the electronic health records. All records identified as new patients during October 2013 were included. Variables of interest were clinic site, patient demographics, blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), chief complaint, and ICD-9 codes. Descriptive statistics were computed and compared to reference standards from previous reports.
Results: During October 2013, there were 224 new patients that entered the clinics. The average patient was a 31- to 50-year-old white male. Our clinic patients differed from those seen by US chiropractors in the distribution of all demographic variables. For adult patients, 31.4% were overweight, 29% were obese, and 8% stage 1 or 2 hypertension.
Conclusion: New patients in the fee-for-service teaching clinics appear to be dissimilar to those of US practicing chiropractors in several important demographics, characteristics, and types of complaints. The new patients had lower levels of overweight, obesity, and hypertension compared to US reference standards.
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