Hypertension dynamics in the elderly population

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Chronic health diseases are the leading cause of mortality, not only in developed countries, but also in developing countries. However, due to misperception and limited resources, the elderly in developing countries, who most suffer from chronic health diseases, have not received much attention so far. This paper examines the prevalence of hypertension and its dynamics among the elderly, and attempts to identify its determinants, using Indonesian Family Life Survey. The findings suggest that childhood nutrition, risky behaviors, and other factors that are captured by individual fixed effects are important in driving the strong persistence. Conditioning on fixed effects, a history of having hypertension has a very little impact on current hypertension. The results also find that less educated people show more persistence of hypertension.