Unhealthy Lifestyle Practices and Medical-Care Costs in the Military
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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The majority of all medical illnesses. and associated costs, can be prevented through personal decisions not to use unhealthy lifestyle practices e.g., smoking, not exercising. A statistical analysis was conducted to examine whether there was a cost impact on medical care as a result of military personnel engaging in unhealthy lifestyle practices. The approach taken for this analysis used the 1992 Worldwide Survey of Substance Abuse and Health Behaviors of Military Personnel data base. and the Department of Defense DoD contractors statistical methodology and software tools. Results concluded that specific unhealthy lifestyle practices. used by fit-for-duty military personnel, do impose a modest incremental cost for several site-specific medical services. These findings established the first reference points for DoD to use in monitoring fluctuations in site-specific medical services associated with unhealthy lifestyle practices among the active-duty force. Further research is recommended to stud, the effects of unhealthy lifestyle practices on medical- care costs in an active duty military cohort, a retired military population under 65, and a retired military population over 65. The results from these studies will allow an examination of the long-term health, utilization, and cost effects of using an unhealthy lifestyle practice.
- Administration and Management
- Medicine and Medical Research