Can the municipalities prevent medication of lifestyle related diseases?

  • Mickael Bech Professor, Health Economics, University of Southern Denmark
  • Maja Bæksgaard Hansen Research Assistant, National Institute of Public Health
  • Jørgen Lauridsen Professor, Health Economics, University of Southern Denmark
  • Christian Kronborg Associate Professor, Health Economics, University of Southern Denmark
Keywords: Medical treatment, lifestyle, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, asthma and chronically obstructive lung disease, spatial structures, small area variation, panel data

Abstract

In extension of a large municipality reform in 2007, which reduced the number of Danish municipalities from 275 to 98, it was the intention that the municipalities should assume responsibility for a part of the expenditure connected to secondary sector health care treatment. Furthermore, the municipalities were assigned the responsibility for – and equipped with a number of opportunities for – exerting primary preventive initiatives. The purpose of the present study is to investigate, whether the municipalities by applying these opportunities have been able to prevent medication of selected lifestyle related diseases (type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and asthma and chronically obstructive lung disease). Though our results initially seem to support this, a closer investigation indicates that the relationship between municipal preventive initiatives and medication is a structural, intra-municipal relationship rather than a cause-response effect.
Published
2012-07-01