Comparative Study
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Prevalence and Occupation of Patients Presenting With Dysphonia in the United States.

Journal of Voice 2017 September
OBJECTIVE: Voice disorders are common conditions that may have a significant impact on patient quality of life, yet their prevalence and epidemiology are poorly documented. In this study, we estimated the prevalence, demographics, and occupation of patients with dysphonia.

METHODS: Using the Commercial and Medicare MarketScan databases of 146.7 million lives (2008-2012), the prevalence of dysphonia was estimated. Patient demographics and industry occupation were evaluated. Prevalence estimates overall and by industry were made using Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Industry estimates were compared with US government employment statistics to assess differences between dysphonia and the general population.

RESULTS: A gradual increase in the diagnosis of dysphonia was noted from 1.3% to 1.7% of the population from 2008 to 2012, with an associated increase in the diagnosis of acute laryngitis, the largest diagnostic category. A strong correlation was present between diagnosis and age, with acute laryngitis more common in the younger populations and malignancies in older ages. Benign neoplasms were more prevalent in the service industry, with 2.6 times increased likelihood compared with the general population, and malignancies were more prevalent in the manufacturing industry, with 1.4 times increased likelihood. Almost 3 million laryngoscopies and stroboscopies were performed with $900 million in costs.

CONCLUSION: Prevalence rates of the diagnosis of dysphonia are increasing and are associated with large healthcare costs. Prevalence rates also differ somewhat between industries, and there appears to be a higher percentage of malignant neoplasms in the manufacturing industry and benign neoplasms in the service industry.

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