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Clinical Pathways to Disability

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  • Mary Beth Landrum
  • Kate A. Stewart
  • David M. Cutler

Abstract

This paper examines the pathways by which individuals transition from healthy to disabled. Because of the high prevalence and costs associated with disability, understanding these pathways is critical to developing interventions to prevent or minimize disability. We compare two estimates of disabling conditions: those observed in medical claims and conditions indicated by the disabled individual. A small number of conditions explain about half of incident disability: arthritis, infectious disease, dementia, heart failure, diabetes, and stroke. These conditions show up in medical claims and self reports. A large number of elderly also attribute disability to old age and various symptoms. Because so many of the most disabling conditions do not have clear medical treatments, the outlook for major reductions in disability might be limited.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13304.

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Date of creation: Aug 2007
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Publication status: published as Clinical Pathways to Disability , Mary Beth Landrum, Kate A. Stewart, David M. Cutler. in Health at Older Ages: The Causes and Consequences of Declining Disability among the Elderly , Cutler and Wise. 2008
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13304

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  1. Robert F. Schoeni & Vicki A. Freedman & Robert B. Wallace, 2001. "Persistent, Consistent, Widespread, and Robust? Another Look at Recent Trends in Old-Age Disability," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 56(4), pages S206-S218.
  2. Vicki Freedman & Eileen Crimmins & Robert Schoeni & Brenda Spillman & Hakan Aykan & Ellen Kramarow & Kenneth Land & James Lubitz & Kenneth Manton & Linda Martin & Diane Shinberg & Timothy Waidmann, 2004. "Resolving inconsistencies in trends in old-age disability: Report from a technical working group," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 417-441, August.
  3. David M. Cutler, 2005. "Intensive Medical Technology and the Reduction in Disability," NBER Chapters, in: Analyses in the Economics of Aging, pages 161-184 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Timothy A. Waidmann & Korbin Liu, 2000. "Disability Trends Among Elderly Persons and Implications for the Future," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 55(5), pages S298-S307.
  5. Lamb, Vicki L., 1996. "A cross-national study of quality of life factors associated with patterns of elderly disablement," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 363-377, February.
  6. Verbrugge, Lois M. & Jette, Alan M., 1994. "The disablement process," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 1-14, January.
  7. Darius Lakdawalla & Dana Goldman & Jay Bhattacharya, 2001. "Are the Young Becoming More Disabled?," NBER Working Papers 8247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Nicolas Sirven, 2012. "On the Socio-Economic Determinants of Frailty: Findings from Panel and Retrospective Data from SHARE," Working Papers DT52, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Dec 2012.

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