We evaluate the hypothesis that genetic factors influence the use of health services and prevention behaviors in a national sample of adult twins in the United States. The analysis compares the correlation of these outcomes between identical twins, who share all their genes, to the correlation between nonidentical twins, who share, on average, only one-half of their genes. Because the environmental similarities of twins are assumed to be the same for identical and nonidentical twin pairs, researchers can partition the variance in behavioral outcomes that are due to genetic and environmental factors. Using established methods in this field, we find evidence of significant genetic influences on preferences toward prevention, overall prevention effort, routine checkups, and prescription drug use. Use of curative services does not appear to be influenced by genes. Our findings offer several implications for policymakers and researchers and suggest that genetics could be informative for health services and policy research.
Prevention, Use of Health Services, and Genes: Implications of Genetics for Policy Formation
Year of Publication:2015
Publication:Journal of Policy Analysis and Management
(2015). Prevention, Use of Health Services, and Genes: Implications of Genetics for Policy Formation. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 34(3), 519-536.