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Key Findings Details

Cognitive Ability and Retiree Health Care Expenditure
by Hanming Fang, Lauren Nicholas and Daniel Silverman
WP 2010-230
Those with less cognitive ability spend more on health care because they are in worse health. Using Health and Retirement Study records linked to Medicare data, we find no evidence that those with lower cognitive ability are differentially receiving unnecessary procedures or care. Much, but not all, of the relationship between cognitive function and health expenditure can be explained by observable health conditions, such as chronic conditions, physical limitations, and self-reported health.