Projecting morbidity in Denmark using the SMILE microsimulation model

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31-05-2019
SMILE

To examine the morbidity and functioning disability prospects of an aging population, three theories on predicting morbidity patterns are simulated for the Danish population using the Danish microsimulation model SMILE.

Abstract

Three theories dominate research on predicting morbidity patterns, namely morbidity expansion (Gruenberg, 2005), morbidity compression (Fries, 1980), and dynamic equilibrium (Manton, 1982). To examine the morbidity and functioning disability prospects of an aging population, these theories are simulated for the Danish population using the Danish microsimulation model SMILE. To project morbidity and functioning disability, SMILE relies on Danish administrative register data and data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE1). This exercise should aid to a better understanding of the scope of health care and fiscal challenges associated with an aging population. From both the perspective of morbidity and functioning disability, projections results indicate a worsening or a resemblance of the state in 2013 for the seniors in Denmark (aged 50-100), mainly due to changes in the age composition. These results apply even in scenarios where the population is less likely to get in more morbid states (morbidity compression) or less impaired by diseases (dynamic equilibrium) at a given age.