Background: The preventable risk factors such as smoking, harmful drinking, and unhealthy weight have contributed to the accelerated rise in non-communicable chronic diseases that are dominant drivers of health care use and spending in China. This study aimed to ascertain the effects of smoking, regular drinking, and unhealthy weight on healthcare utilization in China.
Methods: The database used in this study was obtained from the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS), and the final sample consisted of 63,260 adults in all the five waves of data collection. The fixed effects logistic regression model was used for the analysis.
Results: The current study found that among Chinese adults, current and former smokers were more likely to use outpatient and inpatient care compared to those who never smoked. Former smokers increased the odds of using outpatient and inpatient care than current smokers. Moreover, compared to healthy weight people, obese people increased the likelihood of using outpatient and inpatient care, and overweight people were more likely to be hospitalized. In contrast, people who regularly drank alcohol were less likely to use outpatient and inpatient care than non-regular drinkers.
Conclusion: This study ascertained the effects of smoking, regular drinking, and unhealthy weight on healthcare utilization in China using a five-waves of balanced panel data set. These results may have important implications for supporting the government to make healthcare resources allocation decisions.