Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Effect of body mass on future long-term care use

Nizalova, Olena, Gousia, Katerina, Forder, Julien E. (2020) Effect of body mass on future long-term care use. BMC Geriatrics, 20 (1). Article Number 293. ISSN 1471-2318. (doi:10.1186/s12877-020-01688-4) (KAR id:82798)


Background: Obesity is a known predictor of disability and functional limitations, and, in turn, of health care use. In this study, we aim to explore whether obesity is also a significant risk factor for future long-term care use, overall and by type of care. Methods: We use multinomial logistic regression analysis on data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) for individuals aged 65 and older between 2002 and 2011. Selection issues are tackled using the rich set of control variables, exploiting the data’s longitudinal structure and accounting for loss to follow-up (including death). Control factors include health-related behaviours (physical activity, alcohol and tobacco consumption), functional limitations (related to ADLs, iADLs and mobility) and specific existing health conditions, notably diabetes, high blood pressure and cardio-vascular diseases. Results: We find that obese older people are 25% (p < 0.01) more likely to receive informal or privately-paid care in the future, but this does not hold for formal care. This is an additional direct effect after controlling for a wide range of health conditions and functional limitations. We document some evidence that this effect is due to the development of new functional limitations. Sensitivity analyses suggest that the results are robust to controlling for prediabetes, subjective health, depression, or unobserved heterogeneity. Conclusions: This study provides new evidence of a positive direct effect of obesity on the future use of long-term care services. Accordingly, it adds evidence of further economic benefits to any overall evaluation of policies to promote a healthy weight in the population, particularly in the older population.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1186/s12877-020-01688-4
Uncontrolled keywords: Long-term care, Elderly people, Formal care, Social care, Informal care, BMI, Obesity
Subjects: R Medicine
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Economics
Depositing User: Julien Forder
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2020 14:47 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 18:25 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.