Health investment decisions in response to diabetes information in older Americans
Diabetes is a very common and serious chronic disease, and one of the fastest growing disease burdens in the United States. Further, health behaviors, such as exercise, smoking, drinking, as well as weight status, are instrumental to diabetes management and the reduction of its medical consequences. Nine waves of the Health and Retirement Study are used to model the role of a recent diabetes diagnosis and medication on present and subsequent weight status, exercise, drinking and smoking activity. Several non-linear dynamic population average probit models are estimated. Results suggest that compared to non-diagnosed individuals at risk for high blood sugar, diagnosed diabetics respond initially in terms of increasing exercise, losing weight, and curbing smoking and drinking behavior, but the effect diminishes after diagnosis. Evidence of recidivism is also found in these outcomes, especially weight status and physical activity, suggesting that some behavioral responses to diabetes may be short-lived.
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