NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Intensive Medical Care and Cardiovascular Disease Disability Reductions

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

NBER Working Paper No. 12184
Issued in May 2006
NBER Program(s):   AG   HC

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.

download in pdf format
   (310 K)

email paper

A non-technical summary of this paper is available in the December 2006 NBER digest.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Digest by email.

A non-technical summary of this paper is available in the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health. You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

This paper is available as PDF (310 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w12184

Published:

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Cutler, McClellan, and Newhouse w6514 The Costs and Benefits of Intensive Treatment for Cardiovascular Disease
Long, Cutler, Berndt, Royer, Fournier, Sasser, and Cremieux w12096 The Impact of Antihypertensive Drugs on the Number and Risk of Death, Stroke and Myocardial Infarction in the United States
Kaestner, Long, and Alexander w19948 Effects of Prescription Drug Insurance on Hospitalization and Mortality: Evidence from Medicare Part D
Landrum, Stewart, and Cutler w13304 Clinical Pathways to Disability
Card and Krueger w10366 Would the Elimination of Affirmative Action Affect Highly Qualified Minority Applicants? Evidence from California and Texas
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us