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Was What Ail'd Ya' What Kill'd Ya'?

  • Robert W. Fogel
  • Louis Cain
  • Joseph Burton
  • Brian Bettenhausen

Making use of those Union Army veterans for whom death certificates are available, we compare the conditions with which they were diagnosed by Civil War pension surgeons to the causes of death on the certificates. We divide the data between those veterans who entered the pension system early because of war injuries and those who entered the pension system after the 1890 reform that made it available to many more veterans. We examine the correlation between specific conditions and death causes to gauge support for the hypothesis that death is attributable to something specific. We also examine the correlation between the accumulation of rated conditions to time until death to gauge support for the "insult hypothesis." In general, we find support for both hypotheses. Examining the hazard ratios for dying of a specific condition, there is support for the idea that what ail'd ya' is what kill'd ya'.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17322.

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Date of creation: Aug 2011
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Publication status: published as Fogel, Robert W. & Cain, Louis & Burton, Joseph & Bettenhausen, Brian, 2013. "Was what ailâd ya what killâd ya?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 269-280.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17322
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  2. Angus Deaton, 2002. "Health, inequality, and economic development," Working Papers 270, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
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  8. Dora L. Costa, 1996. "Displacing the Family: Union Army Pensions and Elderly Living Arrange- ments," NBER Working Papers 5429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Fogel,Robert William, 2004. "The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700–2100," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521004886, November.
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  11. Henderson, R. Max, 2005. "The bigger the healthier: Are the limits of BMI risk changing over time?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 339-366, December.
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  13. Werner Troesken, 2004. "Water, Race, and Disease," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262201488, December.
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  15. Werner Troesken, 2004. "Water, Race, and Disease," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number troe04-1, May.
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