ANN ARBOR, Mich., May 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- A study conducted by Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions, Inc. and published in PLOS ONE, an open access journal published by the Library of Science, revealed that a "tipping point" in adult health occurs at age 45.5, after which health starts declining at an accelerated rate. After this point, an "avalanche" of increasing health issues leads to a spike in morbidity and healthcare costs.
The scientific paper, titled "The Avalanche Hypothesis and Compression of Morbidity: Testing Assumptions through Cohort-Sequential Analysis," tests the Compression of Morbidity model. This model suggests that there is a breakpoint, sometime during the adult lifespan, which separates an initial period of relatively good health from a subsequent period of ever increasing morbidity. This theory had never been empirically tested before. Using sophisticated analysis, the research team, which included Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions behavioral scientists, tested a study sample of 55,550 adults enrolled in a healthcare program over a three-year period.
Results of the study indicate that in people who produce medical claims annually after age 45.5, their health deteriorates exponentially rather than linearly with age. In addition, the study found that the tipping point for healthcare costs actually occurs six years earlier, at age 39.5 years, when these costs begin to rapidly accelerate. This finding needs further research to provide an insight into this counter-intuitive result.
"The 'Avalanche' concept has wide-ranging implications for health and the business of healthcare," said Dr. Jennifer Turgiss, DrPH, Vice President of Behavior Science and Analytics at Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions. "This study validates an existing model that suggested that once an initial disease state occurs in older adult life, others follow. Prevention of the first disease remains an important strategy to delay or avoid a 'tipping point' in middle-aged adults. Prevention and health maintenance need to begin early in life, well before the 'avalanche' of health issues and their associated costs begin."
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About Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions
Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions, Inc. serves as the center of excellence for Johnson & Johnson's capabilities in behavior modification, patient/consumer experience, health care analytics and coaching platforms. It offers an integrated portfolio of solutions to cover a broad spectrum of health management – from wellness and prevention, to behavioral health, to chronic disease support. These solutions are designed to improve outcomes, control costs and enhance the patient and consumer experience. Its guiding purpose is to invest energy toward vibrant and longer lives. For more information about Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions, visit http://www.jnjhws.com.
SOURCE Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions