Examining the Education Gradient in Chronic Illness

29 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2012

See all articles by Pinka Chatterji

Pinka Chatterji

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Heesoo Joo

State University of New York at Albany - Department of Economics

Kajal Lahiri

State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany, College of Arts and Sciences, Economics

Date Written: July 31, 2012

Abstract

This study examines the education gradient in three chronic conditions – diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. In the analysis, we take into account diagnosed as well as undiagnosed cases, and we use methods that account for the possibility that unmeasured factors exist that are correlated with education and drive both the likelihood of having the illness and the propensity to be diagnosed with illness if it exists. Data come from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2008. Our findings show that education is not associated with diagnosed diabetes or hypertension, and it is positively associated with having been diagnosed with high cholesterol. However, when we consider both undiagnosed and diagnosed cases, there is a strong, negative association between education and having diabetes or hypertension. A small, positive association between education and high cholesterol persists, even when we include undiagnosed cases. When we account for the possibility of shared, unmeasured determinants of disease prevalence and disease diagnosis that are correlated with education, we find that for all three chronic conditions, education is negatively associated with having undiagnosed chronic disease.

JEL Classification: I190, I310

Suggested Citation

Chatterji, Pinka and Joo, Heesoo and Lahiri, Kajal, Examining the Education Gradient in Chronic Illness (July 31, 2012). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 3892. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2133123

Pinka Chatterji

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Heesoo Joo

State University of New York at Albany - Department of Economics ( email )

1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222
United States

Kajal Lahiri (Contact Author)

State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany, College of Arts and Sciences, Economics ( email )

Department of Economics
1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222
United States
518-442 4758 (Phone)
518-442 4736 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.albany.edu/~klahiri

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