Ventions to reduce obesity and find that bariatric

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ventions to reduce obesity and find that bariatric surgery yields high social benefits relative to drug treatments. Another study leverages the HRS linkage to Medicare records to study excess medical spend- ing related to obesity. Clark et al. (2016) show that higher obesity-related Medicare spending is present only for adults aged 65 to 69. Spending for obese and severely obese adults in this age group is nearly twice that of normal-weight claimants. Interestingly, for those who are aged 70 and older, there is no difference in Medicare claims between normal-weight and even severely obese adults. Impact of Health and Economic Resources on Retirement Elucidating the complex interplay of health, eco- nomic resources, and retirement is at the heart of HRS objectives. The dynamic relationships among health, financial resources, and decisions about work can unfold over many years leading up to retirement, which is part of why the HRS seeks to enroll participants at middle age. Poor health can deplete economic resources through direct out-of- pocket medical (OOPM) costs, but it can also hin- der wealth accumulation through lost wages when people are too sick to work and may also affect work decisions. Very poor health is often a reason for leaving the work force; on the other hand, low wherewithal can delay workforce departure. One study assesses the impact of health on asset accumulation during working years and the indi- rect impact of health through asset accumulation on retirement (Miah and Wilcox-Gök 2007) . Poor health is associated with a higher probability of retiring. But those with a chronic health condition (asth- ma, cancer, heart disease, stroke or diabetes) ac- cumulate fewer financial resources for retirement, which tends to keep them on the job. The majority of those with a chronic illness do not report poor health or activity limitations, which may be why they are able to stay on the job despite having a health condition. The detailed longitudinal health information in the HRS helps clarify these com- plex relationships. Financial resources interact with health to predict retirement. Men in good health are not likely to retire without fairly substantial econom- ic resources behind them (Bound et al. 2010) . On the other hand, men in poor health are 10 times more likely than similar men in average health to retire even without pension benefits. There is a substantial effect of self-reported poor health on retirement. A potential problem arises in the study of health and work, namely, when people are in poor health and are considering leaving the workforce, their self-report of health can also reflect their sense of justification for leaving work. So rather than relying solely on self-reported health status, the study creates an index of health that includes the range of detailed health measures available in the HRS.

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