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Health Serv Res. 1990 October; 25(4): 639–665.
PMCID: PMC1065650

Morbidity and medical care utilization of old and very old persons.


This report compares the morbidity, health care and drug utilization, and health status of random samples of HMO-enrolled Medicare beneficiaries ages 65-79, and 80 and over. The population represented 3,683 person-years of Kaiser Permanente eligibility (59.2 percent female). Those 80 and over were 20 percent of the person-years (64.1 percent female). The effects of age and sex on morbidity and utilization were analyzed using log linear models that controlled for eligibility, and using two-way analyses of variance of rates. Few differences were found in the morbidity experiences and utilization rates of the two age groups. Indicators of self-reported health status did differ. The findings support the idea that noninstitutionalized very old persons are the healthy survivors of their cohort. Their health care needs may not be much different than younger old persons in terms of the types and amounts of health care services needed.

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Selected References

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