More and more Taiwanese are suffering from diabetes and it’s getting serious over time. Therefore, this study focus on how lifestyle and socioeconomic position affect the treatment rate of diabetes. By identifying the risky areas, we provide suggestions for policy makers.
The independent variable, treatment rate of diabetes, is in the form of panel data and is calculated based on the data from National Health Insurance. The scale of this research was from 2004 to 2014, and the cross-section is based on 19 cities of Taiwan and then the data are allocated into 2 gender groups and 4 age groups. The explanatory variables include GDP per capita, the proportion of college students, tobacco and alcohol consumption in respect of different city, and we set population density, medical expenses, aging index and high blood pressure as control variables. The method of this study is panel data using gender and age as dummy variables. When there is endogeneity in explanatory variables, the two-stage least squares method will be used. Controlling gender, age, and control variables, we observe the effect of socioeconomic position and lifestyle on the treatment rate of diabetes.
According to our results, the area with higher socioeconomic position tends to have low treatment rate in diabetes. Also, the area with a negative lifestyle is likely to have a higher proportion of tobacco and alcohol consumption tend to have higher treatment rates. Gender and age are two crucial factors that explain the treatment rate of diabetes. Generally, female had a higher risk of diabetes than male. In addition, the higher the age is, the higher the treatment rate will be, and the peak falls in the range of 65 to 84 years old. Due to the significant effect of tobacco and alcohol consumption, this study suggests government internalize the externalities of smoking and drinking, by adding taxes on tobacco and alcohol.
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