Could the NHS Frighten People into Healthy Habits? Smoking, Subjective Mortality Expectations and Health Information

44 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2013

Date Written: September 9, 2013

Abstract

This paper estimates the potential long-run impact on unhealthy habits of programs of early detection of chronic conditions as hypertension in England. This is done by estimating the parameters of a structural model on smoking, hypertension diagnosis and mortality. In order to deal with selection on screening I employ a feature of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), a nation wide representative survey of the population aged over 50: the recommendation by a professional nurse, trained by the survey organizers, to visit a GP for a screening procedure depending on current readings of blood pressure. Selection into smoking due to live expectancy or health is addressed by employing unobserved heterogeneity and subjective survival probabilities. These mortality beliefs, which depend on a latent health process, are allowed to be a function of both actual and future smoking choices. Exploratory results show that five interventions every 2 years would reduce, at its peak in the seventh year, smoking prevalence by 0.22 pp. While these numbers provide an idea of the magnitude of the effects that can be obtained, they do not provide conclusive evidence.

Suggested Citation

Rodríguez-Lesmes, Paul Andrés, Could the NHS Frighten People into Healthy Habits? Smoking, Subjective Mortality Expectations and Health Information (September 9, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2345649 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2345649

Paul Andrés Rodríguez-Lesmes (Contact Author)

University College London - Department of Economics ( email )

Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/paulrodriguezlesmes/

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