What happens to health during recessions? (continued)

10/22/2014 07:29:00 AM
A quick follow-up to my previous post. Austin Frakt pointed me to another study finding that while recessions appear to slightly improve health for working-age adults, mortality and healthcare utilization by Medicare-age seniors rises during recessions. Both Frakt and Jason Shaffrin discuss medical crowding out as a possible cause for this trend:
"Unlike younger adults who seem to use less healthcare as unemployment rates rise, seniors use more inpatient care…the rise in healthcare use may be tied to an increased willingness of healthcare providers to accept Medicare patients."
Ok, that explains healthcare utilization, but not mortality, unless going to the doctor's office increases mortality risk.

And here is yet another trend: men got more vasectomies during this recession.
"In 2006, 3.9 percent of men said they had had a vasectomy; in 2010, 4.4 percent reported having the surgery. That means an additional 150,000 to 180,000 men per year had vasectomies in each year of the recession."
I'd guess the financial hardship reminded a lot of men that having children is expensive.