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How Does U.S. Medical Spending Vary By Age And Gender?
New analysis of 2004 national health care spending by five researchers from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) reveal some clear gender delineations. According to the authors analysis, female per capita expenditures were 32 percent higher than those of males, per capita differences were most pronounced among the population of child-bearing age, and the gender difference in total spending levels was highest for the elderly, due to womens longer life expectancy. This paper expands the research reported in a 2008 Health Affairs paper to include spending by gender as well as by age.
The authors divided personal health care spending by gender into three age groups: children (0-18), working-age adults (19-64) and the elderly (65 and older). No single source of comprehensive health care spending data by gender and age exists. Therefore, the authors used several sources and methods to estimate the proportion of spending by gender and age group and applied those estimates to the historical data in the National Health Expenditure Accounts.
Here are some key findings:
The estimates presented in this paper can shed light on some
of the variation in health care spending by gender and age and can
contribute to a greater understanding of overall health patterns
in the United States, conclude the authors. It is our
hope that the work described here will help give researchers, policy
makers, and others a baseline set of estimates and a more comprehensive
understanding of how gender and age influence health spending, so
that the future effects of health care reform can be adequately
|About Health Affairs|
Health Affairs, published by Project HOPE, is the leading journal of health policy. The peer-reviewed journal appears each month in print, with additional Web First papers published weekly at www.healthaffairs.org. You can also find the journal on Facebook and Twitter and download Narrative Matters on iTunes. Address inquiries to Sue Ducat at (301) 841-9962 or firstname.lastname@example.org