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Estimating the Amount of Overweight and Obesity Related Health-Care Use in the Republic of Ireland Using SLÁN Data

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Author Info

  • EDEL DOHERTY

    (National University of Ireland, Galway)

  • ANNE DEE

    (Health Services Executive-West, Limerick)

  • CIARAN O’NEILL

    (National University of Ireland, Galway)

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    Abstract

    In Ireland, over half the adult population are now considered to be overweight or obese. This has implications for individuals in terms of their health as well as for the health service in terms of care utilisation. Using SLÁN (2007) data we estimate the impact on use of general practitioner (GP) services, hospital inpatient and hospital day case services of overweight and obesity. Our modelling approach accommodates potential unobserved heterogeneity associated with utilisation of primary and secondary health care. Controlling for a range of sociodemographic variables, we find that overweight and obesity are significant predictors of GP utilisation and obesity is a significant predictor of inpatient episodes. Translating increased utilisation into costs, primary health-care costs are estimated conservatively to be approximately €17 million higher and secondary health-care costs approximately €24 million higher in the Republic of Ireland as a result of overweight and obesity in adults. Given trends, overweight and obesity are likely to present an increasing challenge to the health service in the future that warrant further investigation.

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    File URL: http://www.esr.ie/vol43_2/02%20Doherty%20article_ESRI%20Vol%2043-2.pdf
    File Function: First version,2012
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Economic and Social Studies in its journal Economic and Social Review.

    Volume (Year): 43 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 227–250

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    Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:43:y:2012:i:2:p:227-250

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    1. Van Doorslaer, Eddy & Clarke, Philip & Savage, Elizabeth & Hall, Jane, 2008. "Horizontal inequities in Australia's mixed public/private health care system," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 97-108, April.
    2. David Madden & Anne Nolan & Brian Nolan, 2004. "GP Reimbursement and Visiting Behaviour in Ireland," Working Papers 200426, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
    3. Eddy van Doorslaer & Xander Koolman & Andrew M. Jones, 2004. "Explaining income-related inequalities in doctor utilisation in Europe," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 629-647.
    4. John Cawley & Richard V. Burkhauser, 2006. "Beyond BMI: The Value of More Accurate Measures of Fatness and Obesity in Social Science Research," NBER Working Papers 12291, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. A. Nolan & B. Nolan, 2008. "Eligibility for free GP care, “need” and GP visiting in Ireland," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 157-163, May.
    6. Layte, Richard & Nolan, Anne & McGee, Hannah & O'Hanlon, Ann, 2009. "Do consultation charges deter general practitioner use among older people? A natural experiment," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(8), pages 1432-1438, April.
    7. Richard Layte & Brian Nolan, 2004. "Equity in the Utilisation of Health Care in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 35(2), pages 111–134.
    8. Costa-Font, Joan & Gil, Joan, 2005. "Obesity and the incidence of chronic diseases in Spain: A seemingly unrelated probit approach," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 188-214, July.
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