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Ambulatory neurological care in the Marina Baixa area, Alicante
INTRODUCTION. The demand for neurological care depends on the type of population to be attended, among other variables. The Marina Baixa area, which includes towns such as Altea and Benidorm, has its own peculiar characteristics due to its being one of the places that is often chosen by pensioners from northern and central Spain and Europe to set up residence.
AIM. The aim of this study was to determine the characteristics of the ambulatory neurological care in our health area.
PATIENTS AND METHODS. Data on 1,000 patients attended in the Neurological Clinic at the Specialty Centre in Benidorm (age, sex, reason for visit, tests requested and destination on discharge) were recorded prospectively and consecutively.
RESULTS. The mean age was 58.04 years (range 14-94) and 56.4% were females. 25% of the patients attended were over 75 years old. The main reasons for visiting were headache (28.2%) and cognitive impairment (21%). 26.5% were first-time visits, with a mean age of 55.02 years, which is significantly lower than that of the review patients (59.12 years; p = 0.003). 15.6% of the patients were discharged from hospital. A prolonged follow-up was foreseen for over 50% of them. The demand for care in 2003 was 27.5 per 1,000 inhabitants/year in the population above the age of 14 years.