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Intensive Medical Care and Cardiovascular Disease Disability Reductions

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • David M. Cutler & Mary Beth Landrum & Kate A. Stewart, 2006. "Intensive Medical Care and Cardiovascular Disease Disability Reductions," NBER Working Papers 12184, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12184
    Note: AG HC
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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).
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. repec:dau:papers:123456789/3883 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

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

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