Physical Activity and Changes in Health Care Costs in Late Middle Age

by Tatiana Andreyeva, Roland Sturm

View related products

Download Free Electronic Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 7.0 or higher for the best experience.

Abstract

Background: Physical activity has clear health benefits but there remains uncertainty about how it affects health care costs.

Objective: To examine how physical activity is associated with changes in health expenditure for a national sample age 54 to 69 y, and estimate how this association varies across people with different chronic diseases and health behaviors.

Methods: Data were from the Health and Retirement Study, a national longitudinal survey of late middle age Americans.

Results: Correcting for baseline differences in active and inactive groups, physical activity was associated with reduced health care costs of about 7% over 2 y (or $483 annually).

Conclusions: Regular physical activity in late middle age may lower health expenditure over time, and the effect is likely to be more pronounced for the obese, smokers, and individuals with some baseline health problems. While substantially large for the health care system, our estimates are much smaller than health-unadjusted comparisons or cross-sectional effects.

Reprinted with permission from Journal of Physical Activity and Health, Vol. 3, Supp. 1, Feb. 2006, pp. S6-S19. Copyright © 2006 Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.

Research conducted by

Originally published in: Journal of Physical Activity and Health, Vol. 3, Supp. 1, Feb. 2006, pp. S6-S19. Copyright © 2006 Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.