Health Effects of the Recent Financial Crisis: Has Wealth Loss Contributed to Chronic Disease Treatments and Outcomes?

Jinkook Lee, RAND Corporation
Marco Angrisani, RAND Corporation
Srikanth Kadiyala, RAND Corporation

The recent financial crisis was of a magnitude not seen since the Great Depression. Despite its magnitude, the health effects of the recent recession have not been fully understood, particularly with respect to chronic health outcomes. Using panel data available from the United States Health and Retirement Study, we examine the effects of the recent recession on changes in individual chronic health conditions and chronic disease treatment. Our results suggest that for U.S. individuals aged 50+ the recent recession increased the probability of worsening hypertension by 10% and psychiatric disease status by 12% and lowered the medication usage for hypertension by 15% and psychiatric diseases by 8%.

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Presented in Session 93: Health and Mortality Effects of Macro Social, Economic, and Technological Change