Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Health shocks in patients with cancer: A longitudinal analysis of financial and retirement trends using the Health and Retirement study
by Gilligan, Adrienne M., Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2013, 266; 3559978
Abstract (Summary)

Objectives: Evaluate the association of cancer on net worth, consumer debt, mortgage debt, home equity and changes in retirement trends.

Methods: Data from the Health and Retirement Study from 1998-2010 was used. Persons had to have a diagnosis of cancer. The index date was the corresponding HRS wave of the year of the first diagnosis of cancer. The pre-index date was 2 years and a 2-year and 4-year post index was observed. Primary outcomes of interest were zero/negative net worth and net worth. Multiple logistic regression was used to test for the association between demographic, economic, human capital, and cancer-related variables on outcomes. Generalized linear models were conducted to assess the association of cancer on net worth, consumer debt, mortgage debt, and home equity. Multinomial logistic regression was performed to assess the association of cancer on retirement.

Results: A total of 6,055,110 individuals (weighted) qualified. The majority of patients in this sample were male (53.8%), non-Hispanic (95.5%), and white (90.3%). Marital status (p<0.05), alcohol consumption (p=0.046), hypertension (p = 0.034), private insurance (p=0.001), cancer status (p<0.001), and cancer treatment (p=0.022) were significant predictors of zero/negative net worth 4-years after cancer diagnosis. Patients receiving treatment for their cancer were 71% more likely to have consumer debt 4-years post diagnosis (p=0.006). Patients who reported their cancer improving 4-years post diagnosis were significantly less likely (p=0.008) to have consumer debt (OR=0.59; 95%CI: 0.41-0.87). Cancer treatment and cancer status were significant predictors of mortgage debt (p<0.001 and 0.024, respectively). For individuals whose cancer either improved (OR=1.46; 95%CI: 1.04-2.06) or worsened (OR=4.09; 95%CI: 1.38-12.15), both groups were significantly more likely (p=0.030 and 0.011, respectively) to have home equity 4-years post diagnosis. Cancer status was a significant predictor of individuals transitioning from working to retired (p=0.022).

Conclusion: This nationally representative investigation of 6.1 million patients over 50 years of age with cancer found that approximately 65% of cancer patients reported zero/negative net worth of cancer and almost 45% of cancer patients reported consumer debt four-years post diagnosis. Cancer-related characteristics explain a significant amount of the change in net worth four-years post diagnosis of cancer.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Skrepnek, Grant H.
Commitee: Abraham, Ivo, Armstrong, Edward P., Roe, Denise, Slack, Marion K.
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Pharmaceutical Sciences
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-B 74/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Pharmacy sciences
Keywords: Cancer, Economic burden, Health policy, Retirement
Publication Number: 3559978
ISBN: 9781303055980
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