[abstract]PER-CAPITA CLAIMS RATES FOR DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS (DCS) AMONG INSURED DIVERS ALERT NETWORK (DAN) MEMBERS

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[abstract]PER-CAPITA CLAIMS RATES FOR DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS (DCS) AMONG INSURED DIVERS ALERT NETWORK (DAN) MEMBERS

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Title: [abstract]PER-CAPITA CLAIMS RATES FOR DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS (DCS) AMONG INSURED DIVERS ALERT NETWORK (DAN) MEMBERS
Author: Denoble PJ; Ranapurwala SI; Vaithiyanathan P; Clarke RE; Vann RD
Abstract: Introduction/Background: DCS incidence is difficult to estimate because the number of divers at risk is usually unknown. We estimated per-capita DCS incidence rates based upon insurance claims in a known population of DAN members who purchased diving insurance from 2000-07. Materials and methods: De-identified membership data included age, sex, calendar year, first insured year and DCS claim year. We investigated how these variables influenced per-capita DCS claims rates (DCR) and diving insurance dropout rate. Claims were based on ICD-9 code 993.3 (“caisson disease, bends, DCS, compressed-air disease, divers’ palsy or paralysis”). Results: 2,672 claims were filed in 1,304,358 insured member-years (DCR = 20.5 per 10,000 member-years [95 percent CI: 19.7, 21.3]). Male and female DCRs were 22.1 (95 percent CI: 21.1, 23.1) and 17.6 (95 percent CI: 16.4, 18.8). Males comprised 64 percent of member-years, and males submitted 69 percent of claims. Ages ranged from 15-80 years. DCR increased for younger divers, reaching a maximum at ages 35-45 and declined progressively thereafter. Mean member age increased by 0.5 years per calendar year from 41 to 44.3 years. The highest annual DCR was 25.7 in 2002, and the lowest was 14.9 in 2006. Over a four-year period, the dropout rate was 10-20 percent greater for divers who submitted a claim in their first insured year (p less than 0.0001) although all divers were equally likely to submit claims subsequently. Summary/Conclusions: One in 490 insured DAN members submitted a DCS claim, and one in 6,100 died while diving (Denoble, DHM 38:182,2008). DCS during the first insured year was a disincentive to continued diving. Claims are not a perfect surrogate for DCS, DAN members may not represent all recreational divers, and “per-capita” rates are less informative of exposure than “per-dive” rates, but a well-defined population has clear advantages in accuracy.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine : Journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc.
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/10509
Date: 2012

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  • UHMS Meeting Abstracts
    This is a collection of the published abstracts from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) annual meetings.

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