Early diagnosis of chronic conditions and lifestyle modification

from Health Economics at http://bit.ly/2tZTwaK on July 17, 2017 at 06:33AM


This study estimates the potential impact of early diagnosis programmes on medication, subjective health and lifestyle. To deal with potential selection bias due to screening, I employ a feature of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing that motivates a regression discontinuity design based on respondents’ blood pressure. If their measurements are above a threshold, individuals are advised to visit their family doctor to check for high blood pressure. There is evidence of a temporal increase in use of medication for treating the condition (6.6 percentage points), which almost doubled in the proportion of people taking medication for such blood pressure levels. At the same time, there is a permanent reduction of the probability of consuming alcohol twice a week (10 percentage points) and an increase in fruits consumption. However, there is also evidence of higher smoking frequency (eight cigarettes per week) in those above the threshold. Such lifestyle responses are not related to extra medication. However, no clear effects on either objective or subjective health were found after 4 years of intervention.

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