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Kristen H. Nwanyanwu, Hsien-Chang Lin, Raymond S. Douglas, Christine C. Nelson, Joshua D. Stein; Has the Recent Downturn in the United States Economy Affected Rates of Blepharoplasty?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):5527.
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To determine whether the recent downturn in the United States (US) economy has affected rates of blepharoplasty and to identify sociodemographic and other factors associated with undergoing this procedure.
Claims data from all individuals age greater than or equal to 50 years enrolled in a large national US managed care network from 2001-2009 were reviewed to identify enrollees who underwent blepahroplasty (CPT codes 15822 and 15823). Rates of blepharoplasty were calculated at 6 month intervals from 2001-2009. Logistic regression was performed to identify factors that increased or decreased the odds of undergoing blepharoplasty. To serve as a control, a similar analysis was performed for those who underwent entropion repair (CPT codes 67921-4) during the same time period.
A total of 14,564 blepharoplasty surgeries were performed from January 2001 through December 2009 (range: 339-1121 for each 6 month interval). Rates of blepharoplasty increased steadily throughout the decade and were twice as high in 2009 (1.2-1.4/1000 person-half years) relative to 2001 (0.6-0.7/1000 person-half years). By comparison, rates of entropion repair were stable (0.12-0.17/1000 person-half years) throughout the decade. Compared with 2009, the adjusted odds of undergoing blepharoplasty were 8-11% lower each year from 2001-2004 (p<0.004 for all comparisons). After adjustment for confounders, factors associated with an increased odds of undergoing blepharoplasty included older age, white race, female sex, and a higher density of ophthalmologists in one’s state of residence. Individuals with a history of depression had a 32% increased odds of undergoing blepharoplasty (adjusted OR =1.32, CI: 1.24-1.40) and those with a prior history of other cosmetic surgery had an 8-fold higher odds of undergoing blepharoplasty (adjusted OR=9.42, CI:8.96-9.89) relative to others with no such history.
Despite the recent downturn in the US economy, blepahroplasty rates actually increased in the later years of the decade. After adjustment for a number of important confounding factors, difficult economic times appear not to dissuade patients from undergoing this surgical procedure.
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