Ho, Jessica Y

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Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Low Life Expectancy in the United States: Is the Health Care System at Fault?
    (2010-01-01) Preston, Samuel HY; Ho, Jessica Y
    Life expectancy in the United States fares poorly in international comparisons, primarily because of high mortality rates above age 50. Its low ranking is often blamed on a poor performance by the health care system rather than on behavioral or social factors. This paper presents evidence on the relative performance of the US health care system using death avoidance as the sole criterion. We find that, by standards of OECD countries, the US does well in terms of screening for cancer, survival rates from cancer, survival rates after heart attacks and strokes, and medication of individuals with high levels of blood pressure or cholesterol. We consider in greater depth mortality from prostate cancer and breast cancer, diseases for which effective methods of identification and treatment have been developed and where behavioral factors do not play a dominant role. We show that the US has had significantly faster declines in mortality from these two diseases than comparison countries. We conclude that the low longevity ranking of the United States is not likely to be a result of a poorly functioning health care system.
  • Publication
    US Mortality in an International Context: Age Variations
    (2009-12-16) Ho, Jessica Y.; Preston, Samuel H
  • Publication
    The US Health Care System and Lagging Life Expectancy: A Case Study
    (2009-03-25) Preston, Samuel; Ho, Jessica Y.
    Life expectancy in the United States fares poorly in international comparisons. Its low ranking is often blamed on a poor performance by the health care system rather than on behavioral factors. This paper compares mortality trends from prostate cancer in the United States to those in other developed countries. Prostate cancer is chosen because it can be detected at an early stage, because effective treatments are available, and because it is less heavily influenced by behavioral factors than most other chronic diseases. We find that, after the introduction of the PSA screening test for prostate cancer, mortality from the disease declined significantly faster in the United States than in the set of comparison countries. Trends in incidence and survival rates support the interpretation that the US health care system has worked very effectively to reduce mortality from this important disease. A brief consideration of breast cancer suggests that similar processes may have been at work among women.
  • Publication
    Low Life Expectancy in the United States: Is the Health Care System at Fault?
    (2009-07-01) Preston, Samuel H.; Ho, Jessica Y.
    Life expectancy in the United States fares poorly in international comparisons, primarily because of high mortality rates above age 50. Its low ranking is often blamed on a poor performance by the health care system rather than on behavioral or social factors. This paper presents evidence on the relative performance of the US health care system using death avoidance as the sole criterion. We find that, by standards of OECD countries, the US does well in terms of screening for cancer, survival rates from cancer, survival rates after heart attacks and strokes, and medication of individuals with high levels of blood pressure or cholesterol. We consider in greater depth mortality from prostate cancer and breast cancer, diseases for which effective methods of identification and treatment have been developed and where behavioral factors do not play a dominant role. We show that the US has had significantly faster declines in mortality from these two diseases than comparison countries. We conclude that the low longevity ranking of the United States is not likely to be a result of a poorly functioning health care system.