Association between travel distance and face-to-face consultations with general practitioners before an incident acute myocardial infarction: a nationwide register-based spatial epidemiological study

Thora Majlund Kjærulff*, Kristine Bihrmann, Jens Søndergaard, Gunnar Gislason, Mogens Lytken Larsen, Annette Kjær Ersbøll

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Objectives This study examined the association between travel distance to the general practitioner's (GP) office and no face-to-face GP consultation within 1 year before an incident acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Design A prospective cohort study using multilevel spatial logistic regression analysis of nationwide register data. Setting Nationwide study including contacts to GPs in Denmark prior to an incident AMI in 2005-2017. Participants 121 232 adults (≥30 years) with incident AMI were included in the study. Primary and secondary outcomes measures The primary outcome was odds of not having a face-to-face GP consultation within 1 year before an incident AMI. Results In total, 13 108 (10.8%) of the 121 232 individuals with incident AMI had no face-to-face consultation with the GP within 1 year before the AMI. Population density modified the association between travel distance and no face-to-face GP consultation. Increased odds of no face-to-face GP consultation was observed for medium (25th-75th percentile/1123-5449 m) and long (>75th percentile/5449 m) compared with short travel distance (<25th percentile/1123 m) among individuals living in small cities (OR (95% credible intervals) of 1.19 (1.10 to 1.29) and 1.19 (1.06 to 1.33), respectively) and rural areas (1.46 (1.26 to 1.68) and 1.48 (1.29 to 1.68), respectively). No association was observed for individuals living in large cities and the capital. Conclusions Travel distance above approximately 1 km was significantly associated with no face-to-face GP consultation before an incident AMI among individuals living in small cities and rural areas. The structure of the healthcare system should consider the importance of geographical distance between citizens and the GP in remote areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere079124
JournalBMJ Open
Volume14
Issue number1
Number of pages10
ISSN2044-6055
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25. Jan 2024

Keywords

  • EPIDEMIOLOGIC STUDIES
  • Health Equity
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Observational Study
  • Organisation of health services
  • Myocardial Infarction/epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Humans
  • General Practitioners
  • Travel
  • Adult
  • Referral and Consultation

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