The effect of early life circumstances on health and formal long term care use

The Netherlands have one of the highest formal long term care (LTC) use in the world. This high prevalence mainly stems from the design of public LTC insurance system and cultural aspects. Still, individual health conditions are the main determinants of care use. LTC use, together with disability benefits (below age 65) can therefore provide an indicator of the health status. However, LTC use not only depends on the health status but also on family networks, marital status and household income. For some individuals it is already plausible they will use LTC at a relatively young age based on early life health indicators. We explore whether it is possible to explain poor health as reflected in LTC use and disability benefits at older age based on health indicators collected at military examination for men around age 18. We use administrative data, on men born in 1944-1947 who were examined for military service in the Netherlands between 1961-1965. These data are linked to national socio-economic information on income, employment status and care use (2004-2013).

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