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Long-term effects of oral clefts on health care utilization: a sibling comparison

Author

Listed:
  • Morten Pedersen

    ()

  • George Wehby

    ()

  • Dorthe Pedersen
  • Kaare Christensen

Abstract

Oral clefts are among the most common birth defects affecting thousands of newborns each year, but little is known about their potential long-term consequences. In this paper, we explore the impact of oral clefts on health care utilization over most of the lifespan. To account for time-invariant unobservable parental characteristics, we compare affected individuals with their own unaffected siblings. The analysis is based on unique data comprising the entire cohort of individuals born with oral clefts in Denmark tracked until adulthood in administrative register data. We find that children with oral clefts use more health services than their unaffected siblings. Additional results show that the effects are driven primarily by congenital malformation-related hospitalizations and intake of anti-infectives. Although the absolute differences in most health care utilization diminish over time, affected individuals have slightly higher utilization of some health care services in adulthood (particularly for diseases of the nervous and respiratory system). These results have important implications for affected individuals, their families, and their health professionals. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Morten Pedersen & George Wehby & Dorthe Pedersen & Kaare Christensen, 2015. "Long-term effects of oral clefts on health care utilization: a sibling comparison," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 16(6), pages 603-612, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:eujhec:v:16:y:2015:i:6:p:603-612
    DOI: 10.1007/s10198-014-0612-6
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10198-014-0612-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Janet Currie, 2009. "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Socioeconomic Status, Poor Health in Childhood, and Human Capital Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 87-122, March.
    2. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie, 2011. "Killing Me Softly: The Fetal Origins Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 153-172, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dorthe Almind Pedersen & George L Wehby & Jeffrey C Murray & Kaare Christensen, 2016. "Psychiatric Diagnoses in Individuals with Non-Syndromic Oral Clefts: A Danish Population-Based Cohort Study," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 11(5), pages 1-14, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Birth defects; Oral clefts; Cleft lip; Cleft palate; Health care utilization; Sibling comparison; Sibling fixed effects; I11; I12;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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