Disease Incidence and Mortality Among Older Americans and Europeans

37 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2013

See all articles by Aida Sole-Auro

Aida Sole-Auro

National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED)

Pierre-Carl Michaud

RAND Corporation; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Michael D. Hurd

RAND Corporation; State University of New York at Stony Brook - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Eileen Crimmins

University of Southern California - Davis School of Gerontology; University of Southern California - Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics

Date Written: July 29, 2013

Abstract

Recent research has shown a widening gap in life expectancy at age 50 between the U.S. and Europe, as well as large differences in the prevalence of diseases at these ages. Little is known about the processes determining international differences in the prevalence of chronic diseases. Higher prevalence of disease could result from either higher incidence or longer disease-specific survival. This paper uses comparable longitudinal data from 2004 and 2006 for populations aged 50 to 79 from the U.S. and a selected group of European countries to examine age-specific differences in prevalence and incidence of heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer as well as mortality associated with each disease. Not surprisingly, it finds that Americans have higher disease prevalence. However, incidence of most diseases and survival conditional on disease is higher in Europe at older ages, in particular after age 60. The survival advantage in Europe tends to disappear when we control for co-morbidities but does not suggest a survival advantage in the U.S. Therefore, the origin of the higher disease prevalence at older ages in the U.S. is to be found in higher incidence and prevalence earlier in the life course.

Keywords: disease incidence, disease-specific survival, Europe, United States

Suggested Citation

Sole-Auro, Aida and Michaud, Pierre-Carl and Hurd, Michael D. and Crimmins, Eileen, Disease Incidence and Mortality Among Older Americans and Europeans (July 29, 2013). RAND Working Paper Series WR- 1006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2302905 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2302905

Aida Sole-Auro (Contact Author)

National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED) ( email )

133 Bd Davout
Paris cedex 20, France 75980
France

Pierre-Carl Michaud

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Michael D. Hurd

RAND Corporation ( email )

P.O. Box 2138
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States
310-393-0411 (Phone)
310-393-4818 (Fax)

State University of New York at Stony Brook - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics ( email )

Stony Brook, NY 11794
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Eileen Crimmins

University of Southern California - Davis School of Gerontology ( email )

3715 McClintock Ave.
Rm 351
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0191
United States

University of Southern California - Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics ( email )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3333
United States

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