Title:How Does the Information on Hypertension Affect Health Behaviors: A Two Dimensional Regression Discontinuity Analysis
Speaker: Ang Sun
Abstract:This paper explores how hypertension diagnosis affects self-awareness and health behaviors. The China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) measures interviewees’ 3-day average of systolic and diastolic pressure levels in each round of the survey and informs people the results of the examinations. In most cases, the diagnosis of high blood pressure is made when systolic pressure readings are consistently 140mmHg or above or diastolic pressure readings are consistently 90mmHg or above. We conduct a regression discontinuity analysis using aggregated distance to the cutoff boundary. Moreover, to better understand the effect of hypertension diagnosis on health behaviors, we investigate the respective changes at systolic and diastolic cutoffs. We find that although the respondents around the systolic and diastolic pressure cutoffs are equally aware of having hypertension, those around the systolic cutoff are more likely to take medication, reduce fat intake and quit smoking. We find that education only increases responsiveness at the cutoff of systolic pressure but has no effect on health behaviors at the cutoff of diastolic pressure. This research demonstrates the behaviors upon receiving complex information—a diagnosis based on two-dimensional blood pressure measures. It also shows the limitation when aggregating multidimensional information to a one dimensional measure in regression discontinuity analysis.
About Ang Sun: Assistant Professor, CUFE.
Location:Room 608, Academic Hall, CUFE