The benefits of risk factor prevention in Americans aged 51 years and older.

TitleThe benefits of risk factor prevention in Americans aged 51 years and older.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsGoldman, DP, Zheng, Y, Girosi, F, Michaud, P-C, S Olshansky, J, Cutler, DM, Rowe, JW
JournalAm J Public Health
Date Published2009 Nov
ISSN Number1541-0048
Call Numbernewpubs20101112_Goldman.pdf
KeywordsDiabetes Mellitus, Health Care Costs, health policy, Health Promotion, Humans, Hypertension, Middle Aged, Models, Biological, Models, Economic, Obesity, Quality-Adjusted Life Years, Risk Reduction Behavior, Smoking, Smoking Prevention, United States

OBJECTIVES: We assessed the potential health and economic benefits of reducing common risk factors in older Americans.

METHODS: A dynamic simulation model tracked a national cohort of persons 51 and 52 years of age to project their health and medical spending in prevention scenarios for diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and smoking.

RESULTS: The gain in life span from successful treatment of a person aged 51 or 52 years for obesity would be 0.85 years; for hypertension, 2.05 years; and for diabetes, 3.17 years. A 51- or 52-year-old person who quit smoking would gain 3.44 years. Despite living longer, those successfully treated for obesity, hypertension, or diabetes would have lower lifetime medical spending, exclusive of prevention costs. Smoking cessation would lead to increased lifetime spending. We used traditional valuations for a life-year to calculate that successful treatments would be worth, per capita, $198,018 (diabetes), $137,964 (hypertension), $118,946 (smoking), and $51,750 (obesity).

CONCLUSIONS: Effective prevention could substantially improve the health of older Americans, and--despite increases in longevity--such benefits could be achieved with little or no additional lifetime medical spending.

URL 3APubMedandid=pmid 3A19762651
User Guide Notes

Endnote Keywords

diabetes/health Care Costs/health Policy/Hypertension/Obesity/Smoking/Public Policy

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalAm J Public Health
Citation Key7410
PubMed ID19762651
PubMed Central IDPMC2759785
Grant ListP30 AG024968 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States