DETERMINANTS OF THE DEMAND FOR SECONDARY PREVENTIVE MEDICAL CARE: THE CASE OF BREAST CANCER
Every year, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), almost 180,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer. Sadly, about 46,000 women die each year from breast cancer. With 46,000 deaths, breast cancer ranks just behind lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer death in women. Studies show that early detection of breast cancer through mammography (X-ray) and clinical breast examination tremendously increases the chance of survival. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, if breast cancer is detected early, the five-year survival rate is above 90 percent. Mammography and clinical breast examination, therefore, are considered two forms of investment in health. The objective of this dissertation is to theoretically and empirically investigate the effects of different economic and social variables on the demand for mammography and clinical breast examination as two forms of secondary preventive medical care services. Unlike primary preventive medical care, secondary preventive medical care does not decrease the chance of getting sick but instead it reduces the consequences of illness through early detection. An expected utility maximization theory is used to model the demand for secondary preventive medical care. The results of the theoretical investigation suggest that the demand for secondary preventive medical care depends on the income, the level of education, the wage rate, the price of secondary preventive medical care, the rate of depreciation in health, and the price of curative medical care. Logistic regression models are used to empirically investigate the validity of the theoretical findings. The national data used for this study come from the 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). The 1996 MEPS provides extensive data on the use of medical care and health services in the United States. The empirical results not only support the theoretical findings, they also result in important new findings. Hispanic women are found to be either more likely or just as likely as white and black women to obtain annual or biennial mammograms and clinical breast examinations. These findings are new and to the best of our knowledge have not been reported before.
School:University of Cincinnati
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:economics demand preventive medical care breast cancer mammography
Date of Publication:01/01/2000