Clinical Pathways to Disability

51 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2007 Last revised: 3 Aug 2010

See all articles by Mary Beth Landrum

Mary Beth Landrum

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Kate Stewart

Harvard Medical School - Department of Health Care Policy

David M. Cutler

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: August 2007

Abstract

This paper examines the pathways by which individuals transition from healthy to disabled. Because of the high prevalence and costs associated with disability, understanding these pathways is critical to developing interventions to prevent or minimize disability. We compare two estimates of disabling conditions: those observed in medical claims and conditions indicated by the disabled individual. A small number of conditions explain about half of incident disability: arthritis, infectious disease, dementia, heart failure, diabetes, and stroke. These conditions show up in medical claims and self reports. A large number of elderly also attribute disability to old age and various symptoms. Because so many of the most disabling conditions do not have clear medical treatments, the outlook for major reductions in disability might be limited.

Suggested Citation

Landrum, Mary Beth and Stewart, Kate and Cutler, David M., Clinical Pathways to Disability (August 2007). NBER Working Paper No. w13304. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1005906

Mary Beth Landrum

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Kate Stewart

Harvard Medical School - Department of Health Care Policy ( email )

25 Shattuck Street
Boston, MA 02115
United States

David M. Cutler (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center, Room 315A
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-5216 (Phone)
617-495-8570 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-868-3900 (Phone)
617-868-2742 (Fax)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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