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Does health information affect lifestyle behaviours? The impact of a diabetes diagnosis

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  • Gaggero, Alessio
  • Gil, Joan
  • Jiménez-Rubio, Dolores
  • Zucchelli, Eugenio

Abstract

Despite an increasing interest in the effect of health information on health-behaviours, evidence on the causal impact of a diagnosis on lifestyle factors is still mixed and does not often account for long-term effects. We explore the role of health information in individual health-related decisions by identifying the causal impact of a type-2 diabetes diagnosis on body mass index (BMI) and lifestyle behaviours. We employ a fuzzy regression discontinuity design (RDD) exploiting the exogenous cut-off value in the diagnosis of type-2 diabetes provided by a biomarker (glycated haemoglobin) drawn from unique administrative longitudinal data from Spain. We find that following a type-2 diabetes diagnosis individuals appear to reduce their weight in the short-term. Differently from previous studies, we also provide evidence of statistically significant long-term impacts of a type-2 diabetes diagnosis on BMI up to three years from the diagnosis. We do not find perceivable effects of a type-2 diabetes diagnosis on quitting smoking or drinking. Overall, health information appears to have a sustained causal impact on weight reduction, a key lifestyle and risk factor among individuals with type-2 diabetes.

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  • Gaggero, Alessio & Gil, Joan & Jiménez-Rubio, Dolores & Zucchelli, Eugenio, 2022. "Does health information affect lifestyle behaviours? The impact of a diabetes diagnosis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 314(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:314:y:2022:i:c:s0277953622007262
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2022.115420
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    Cited by:

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    2. ZHAO Meng & YIN Ting & SEKIZAWA Yoichi, 2023. "Make Behavioral Changes for a Healthier Liver? Evidence from a liver function test in Japan," Discussion papers 23010, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    3. Stöckel, Jannis & van Exel, Job & Brouwer, Werner B.F., 2023. "Adaptation in life satisfaction and self-assessed health to disability - Evidence from the UK," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 328(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Diabetes; Health information; Lifestyle behaviours; Body mass index; Regression discontinuity design; Administrative data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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