A hassle-free mind seems to improve health. A recent study shows that Americans who qualify for public health insurance provided after retirement are healthier than when they did not have one. This report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) comes at a time when 15 per cent of American population lacks insurance. Incidentally this is a major issue on the presidential campaign that will be decided in November 2008.
This study was carried out by tracking 7,233 people between the age gour of 55 and 72 for 12 years, ending in 2004. This included 2,227 people who were uninsured or only intermittently insured until they qualified for Medicare at age 65.
The study found that for every 100 uninsured people with heart disease or diabetes before age 65, there were 10 fewer cases of fewer major cardiac problems such as heart attacks or heart failure, than expected by age 72.
Dr. John Ayanian, senior author of the study and a professor at Harvard Medical School says that the result shows how insurance improves health. Dr J Michael McWilliams, a Harvard research associate, said that though the result seems "self-evident"- some people question "this assumption".
Ayanian says that this publication along with another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which showed that uninsured adults who receive Medicare cost the system more when compared to continuously insured people, suggests that expanding health coverage proves less expensive than previously thought and ensures a slow decline in health.