The Transitions of Aging

  • Suchit Arora
Part of the International Perspectives on Aging book series (Int. Perspect. Aging, volume 12)


This chapter posits that any spending profile is a function of the costs associated with the upward-sloping profiles of illness and of aging. It then explores the path of healthcare spending as the profiles undergo compression, expansion, and the transitions from one to the other. The following seem necessary for per capita healthcare spending to have grown since the nineteenth century: (1) compression in the aging profiles co-vary negatively with the shifts in the reported-illness profiles; (2) norms, institutions and diagnostic technologies underpin the expansion in reported illness profiles; but (3) prevention of illness, with an intertemporal link, fosters more aging, helping trim spending; and (4) for given profiles of aging and illness rates, technologies that shrink treatment costs slow spending without an adverse effect of letting illnesses go untreated. These outcomes make explicit some of the issues in cost containment. Particularly relevant is the benefit from intertermporally-connected prevention costs that deliver better childhood-linked aging and slower spending; and new technologies that deliver better outcomes for the life-course component of aging at lesser unit costs than before.


Healthcare spending profile Illness profile Diagnostic costs Treatment costs Prevention costs Diagnostic technology Norms Insurance Aging profile Death-related costs Fatality ratio profiles Compression of deaths Compression of morbidity Expansion of deaths Expansion of morbidity Cost containment 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suchit Arora
    • 1
  1. 1.State Teachers Retirement System of OhioColumbusUSA

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