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Convergence of body mass with aging: The longitudinal interrelationship of health, weight, and survival

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  • Yang, Zhou
  • Bishai, David
  • Harman, Jeffrey

Abstract

There has been ongoing debate about the health risks associated with increased body weight among the elderly population. One issue has not been investigated thoroughly is that body weight changes over time, as both the reasons and results of, the development of chronic diseases and functional disabilities. Structural models have the ability to unravel the complicated simultaneous relationship between body weight, disability, and mortality along the aging process. Using longitudinal data from the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey from 1992 to 2001, we constructed a structural model to estimate the longitudinal dynamic relationship between weight, chronic diseases, functional status, and mortality among the aging population. A simulation of an age cohort from 65 to 100 was conducted to show the changes in weight and health outcomes among the cohorts with different baseline weight based on the parameters estimated by the model. The elderly with normal weight at age 65 experience higher life expectancy and lower disability rates than the same age cohorts in other weight categories. The interesting prediction of our model is that the average body size of an elderly cohort will converge to the normal weight range through a process of survival, senescence, and behavioral adjustment.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

Volume (Year): 6 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 469-481

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:6:y:2008:i:3:p:469-481

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

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Keywords: BMI Aging Dynamic Structural;

References

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  1. David M. Cutler, 1993. "The Incidence of Adverse Medical Outcomes Under Prospective Payments," NBER Working Papers 4300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Fogel, Robert W, 1994. "Economic Growth, Population Theory, and Physiology: The Bearing of Long-Term Processes on the Making of Economic Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 369-95, June.
  3. Mroz, Thomas A., 1999. "Discrete factor approximations in simultaneous equation models: Estimating the impact of a dummy endogenous variable on a continuous outcome," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 233-274, October.
  4. Dana P. Goldman, 1995. "Managed Care as a Public Cost-Containment Mechanism," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(2), pages 277-295, Summer.
  5. Tennille J. Checkovich & Steven Stern, 2002. "Shared Caregiving Responsibilities of Adult Siblings with Elderly Parents," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(3), pages 441-478.
  6. Michelle M. Mello & Sally C. Stearns & Edward C. Norton, 2002. "Do Medicare HMOs still reduce health services use after controlling for selection bias?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 323-340.
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Cited by:
  1. Daouli, Joan & Davillas, Apostolos & Demoussis, Michael & Giannakopoulos, Nicholas, 2014. "Obesity persistence and duration dependence: Evidence from a cohort of US adults (1985–2010)," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 30-44.

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