Skip to main content
The Lifetime Burden of Chronic Disease among the Elderly
Health Affairs (2005)
  • Geoffrey F. Joyce
  • Emmett B. Keeler
  • Baoping Shang
  • Dana P. Goldman
The high costs of treating chronic diseases suggest that reducing their prevalence would improve Medicare's financial stability. In this paper we examine the impact of selected chronic diseases on the distribution of health spending and its variation over the course of disease. We also use a microsimulation model to estimate these conditions' impact on life expectancy and health spending from age sixty-five to death. A sixty-five-year-old with a serious chronic illness spends $1,000-$2,000 more per year on health care than a similar adult without the condition. However, cumulative Medicare payments are only modestly higher for the chronically ill because of their shorter life expectancy.
  • Chronic Care,
  • Demography,
  • Elderly,
  • Health Promotion/Disease Prevention,
  • Medicare,
  • Research And Technology,
  • Health Spending
Publication Date
September, 2005
Citation Information
Geoffrey F. Joyce, Emmett B. Keeler, Baoping Shang and Dana P. Goldman. "The Lifetime Burden of Chronic Disease among the Elderly" Health Affairs (2005)
Available at: