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Health Econ. 2009 Mar;18(3):355-62. doi: 10.1002/hec.1370.

Aging diseases--do they prevent preventive health care from saving costs?

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Institute of Health Economics and Clinical Epidemiology, University of Cologne, Köln, Germany.


The potential of preventive health-care services to save costs is intensely debated. On the one hand, a longer life span increases the probability that new and costly diseases occur. On the other hand, a higher life expectancy postpones the expensive last year of life (LYOL), which becomes cheaper with age. Using US expenditure data on survivors and decedents the paper shows that prevention in the general population causes expenditures for additional diseases that are larger than the savings from postponing the LYOL. This result may also hold for prevention in diseased individuals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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