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Intensive Medical Care and Cardiovascular Disease Disability Reductions

In: Health at Older Ages: The Causes and Consequences of Declining Disability among the Elderly

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

Abstract

There is little empirical evidence to explain why disability declined among the elderly over the past 20 years. In this paper, we explore the role of improved medical care for cardiovascular disease on health status improvements over time. We show that the incidence of cardiovascular disease hospitalizations remained relatively constant between 1984 and 1999 at the same time that post-event survival improved and disability declined. We find that use of appropriate therapies, including pharmaceuticals such as beta-blockers, aspirin, and ace-inhibitors, and invasive procedures, explains up to 50% and 70% of the reductions in disability and death over time, respectively. Elderly patients living in regions with high use of appropriate medical therapies had better health outcomes than patients living in low-use areas. Finally, we estimate that preventing disability after an acute event can add as much as 3.7 years of quality-adjusted life expectancy, or $316,000 of value.
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Suggested Citation

  • David M. Cutler & Mary Beth Landrum & Kate A. Stewart, 2009. "Intensive Medical Care and Cardiovascular Disease Disability Reductions," NBER Chapters, in: Health at Older Ages: The Causes and Consequences of Declining Disability among the Elderly, pages 191-222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11114
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bui, Thi Mai Van & Stolpe, Michael, 2007. "The impact of new drug launches on the loss of labor from disease and injury: evidence from German panel data," Kiel Working Papers 1317, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    2. Lazuka, Volha, 2021. "Heterogeneous Returns to Medical Innovations," Lund Papers in Economic History 225, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
    3. Jona Schellekens & Anat Ziv, 2020. "The role of education in explaining trends in self-rated health in the United States, 1972–2018," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 42(12), pages 383-398.
    4. Manuel García-Goñi & Pere Ibern & José María Inoriza, 2009. "Hybrid risk adjustment for pharmaceutical benefits," Working Papers, Research Center on Health and Economics 1139, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    5. Mikael Svensson, 2010. "Economic upturns are good for your heart but watch out for accidents: a study on Swedish regional data 1976-2005," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(5), pages 615-625.
    6. Elizabeth T. Wilde, 2008. "Do Response Times Matter? The Impact of EMS Response Times on Health Outcomes," Working Papers 1065, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    7. repec:dau:papers:123456789/3883 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. J. Jona Schellekens, 2019. "Explaining Disability Trends in the United States, 1963–2015," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 45(4), pages 819-834, December.
    9. Manuel García-Goñi & Pere Ibern & José Inoriza, 2009. "Hybrid risk adjustment for pharmaceutical benefits," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 10(3), pages 299-308, July.
    10. Elizabeth Wilde, 2008. "Do Response Times Matter? The Impact of EMS Response Times on Health Outcomes," Working Papers 1065, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    11. Michael Chernew & David M. Cutler & Kaushik Ghosh & Mary Beth Landrum, 2016. "Understanding the Improvement in Disability-Free Life Expectancy in the US Elderly Population," NBER Chapters, in: Insights in the Economics of Aging, pages 161-201, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. John A. Turner, 2007. "Work at Older Ages: Is Raising the Early Retirement Age an Option for Social Security Reform?," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2007-13, Center for Retirement Research, revised Jun 2007.
    13. Giovanni Crea & Valentina Beretta, 2020. "Chronic diseases in Italy: Does socioeconomic status carry weight?," DEM Working Papers Series 187, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Management.
    14. Svensson, Mikael, 2007. "Do not go breaking your heart: Do economic upturns really increase heart attack mortality?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 833-841, August.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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