Background: There has been little research on the economic status of those with multiple health conditions, particularly on the relationship between multiple health conditions and wealth. This paper will assess the difference in the value and type of wealth assets held by Australians who have multiple chronic health conditions. Methods: Using HealthWealthMOD, a microsimulation model of the 45-64-year-old Australian population in 2009, a counterfactual analysis was undertaken. The actual proportion of people with different numbers of chronic health conditions with any wealth, and the value of this wealth was estimated. This was compared with the counterfactual values had the individuals had no chronic health conditions. Results: There was no change in the proportion of people with one health condition who actually had any wealth, compared to the counterfactual proportion had they had no chronic health conditions. Ninety-four percent of those with four or more health conditions had some accumulated wealth; however, under the counterfactual, 100% would have had some accumulated wealth. There was little change in the value of non-income-producing assets under the counterfactual, regardless of number of health conditions. Those with four or more chronic health conditions had a mean value of $17 000 in income-producing assets; under the counterfactual, the average would have been $78 000. Conclusion: This study has highlighted the variation in the value of wealth according to number of chronic health conditions, and hence the importance of considering multiple morbidities when discussing the relationship between health and wealth.
Schofield, D., Callander, E., Shrestha, R., Passey, M., Kelly, S., & Percival, R. (2015). Multiple chronic health conditions and their link with wealth assets. European Journal of Public Health, 25(2), 285-289. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/cku134