, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 121-123
Date: 06 Aug 2012

Healthcare expenditure and ageing

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The reasons for greater healthcare spending among the elderly population are several. Trends in healthcare expenditure (HCE) are likely to be influenced by trends in health and disability, as well as by product innovation. In general, elderly people report a greater number of chronic conditions and disability. The new advances in medical research and development (R&D) focus on improving the quality of life at higher ages. There is increasing concern in healthcare systems about the relative share of current and future expenditure devoted to this objective compared with the traditional objective of preventing mortality.

Note also that the use of healthcare services is generally greater closer to death. Several papers clearly demonstrate that the effect of proximity to death far overshadows the effect of age. The HCE of persons in the last months of life shows a clear increase, and there is evidence, contrary to the results reported by Zweifel et al.,[1] that the cost of dying is higher fo