Differential effect of Behavioral Risk Factors Gap on Size of Health Spending, Social Determinants, and Burden of Non-Communicable Diseases-Related Health Outcomes in Developing Countries
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are seriously affecting poor countries, posing challenges of double burden
of communicable and NCDs diseases. This paper examined the behavioral risk factors, health spending gap and social
determinants of health on burden of NCD-related health outcomes in developing countries. Using 2008 data from a sample
140 countries in six World Health Organization regions, I estimated an aggregate health production function. Results show
tobacco use, pollution, urbanization, and prevalence of low birth weight significantly contribute to burden of NCD-related
health outcomes in developing countries. The results demonstrate no statistical significance effect of alcohol use, obesity,
literacy, and health spending on burden of NCDs. While health spending has no statistical significance, there is evidence of
differential effect of behavioral risk factors on YLL, especially when countries are split based on size of health spending.
Behavioral risk factors contribute more to burden of NCDs in relatively higher health spending developing countries as
compared to low health spending countries. Furthermore, NCD-related health outcomes are on average highest in Eastern
European region and lowest in Africa compared to other regions. The study controlled for potential endogeneity of health
spending with health outcomes and found health spending to be exogenous.
Keywords - Health spending, Behavioral risk factors, social determinants of health, Non-communicable diseases, Years of
life lost, health outcomes, burden of NCDs, developing countries