• Yong Kang Cheah School of Economics, Finance and Banking, College of Business, Universiti Utara Malaysia, 06010 UUM Sintok, Kedah Darul Aman, Malaysia
  • Azira ABDUL ADZIS School of Economics, Finance and Banking, College of Business, Universiti Utara Malaysia, 06010 UUM Sintok, Kedah Darul Aman, Malaysia
  • Juhaida ABU BAKAR School of Economics, Finance and Banking, College of Business, Universiti Utara Malaysia, 06010 UUM Sintok, Kedah Darul Aman, Malaysia.
  • Chor Foon TANG Centre for Policy Research and International Studies, Universiti SainsMalaysia, 11800 USM, Penang, Malaysia
  • Hock Kuang LIM Institute for Medical Research, Jalan Pahang, 50588 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Chee Cheong KEE Sector for Biostatistics and Data Repository, National Institutes of Health, 40170 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
Keywords: age; consumption; education; health; medical care


The present study examines age and education determinants of consumption of medical care using Malaysian data. The present study offers a better understanding of the effects of age and education on medical care and assists policy makers in developing more effective intervention measures to improve population health. A nationally representative data with a large sample size (n = 14838) was used for analyses. Several important findings are noteworthy. First, age and education are positively associated with consumption of medical care. Second, the impact of education on medical care varies across age. Third, there is no diminishing marginal effect of education on medical care. Findings of the present study suggest that age and education play an important role in determining consumption of medical care. When designing policies to improve population health, consideration should be given to the effects of age and education factors on consumption of medical care. It is important for policy makers to understand which age group and education level of people are more or less likely to use medical care.


Grossman M. On the concept of health capital and the demand for health. J Polit Econ 1972; 80(2):223-255.

Kenkel DS. The demand for preventive medical care. Appl Econ 1994; 26(4):313-325.

Geil P, Million A, Rotte R, Zimmermann KF. Economic incentives and hospitalization in Germany. J Appl Econ 1997; 12(3):295-311.

Celik Y, Hotchkiss DR. The socio-economic determinants of maternal health care utilization in Turkey. Soc Sci Med 2000; 50(12):1797-1806.

Propper C. The demand for private health care in the UK. J Health Econ 2000; 19(6):855-876.

Deb P. A discrete random effects probit model with application to the demand for preventive care. Health Econ 2001; 10(5):371-383.

Riphahn RT, Wambach A, Million A. Incentive effects in the demand for health care: A bivariate panel count data estimation. J Appl Econ 2003; 18(4):387-405.

Atella V, Brindisi F, Deb P, Rosati FC. Determinants of access to physician services in Italy: A latent class seemingly unrelated probit approach. Health Econ 2004; 13(7):657-668.

Lairson DR, Chan W, Newmark GR. Determinants of the demand for breast cancer screening among women veterans in the United States. Soc Sci Med 2005; 61(7):1608-1617.

Belkar R, Fiebig DG, Haas M, Viney R. Why worry about awareness in choice problems? Econometric analysis of screening for cervical cancer. Health Econ 2006; 15(1):33-47.

Coughlin SS, Leadbetter S, Richards T, Sabatino SA. Contextual analysis of breast and cervical cancer screening and factors associated with health care access among United States women, 2002. Soc Sci Med 2008; 66(2):260-275.

Filippini M, Masiero G, Moschetti K. Socioeconomic determinants of regional differences in outpatient antibiotic consumption: Evidence from Switzerland. Health Pol 2006; 78(1):77-92.

Vecino-Ortiz AI. Determinants of demand for antenatal care in Colombia. Health Pol 2008; 86(2-3):363-372.

Fletcher JM, Frisvold DE. Higher education and health investments: Does more schooling affect preventive health care use? J Hum Capital 2009; 3(2):144-176.

Ellis RP, Martins B, Zhu W. Health care demand elasticities by type of service. J Health Econ 2017; 55:232-243.

Zhou Z, Su Y, Gao J, Xu L, Zhang Y. New estimates of elasticity of demand for healthcare in rural China. Health Pol 2011; 103(2-3):255-265.

Qian D, Pong RW, Yin A, Nagarajan KV, Meng Q. Determinants of health care demand in poor, rural China: The case of Gansu province. Health Policy and Planning, 2009; 24(5):324-334.

Sahn DE, Younger SD, Genicot G. The demand for health care services in rural Tanzania. Oxford B Econ Stat 2003; 65(2):241-259.

De Allegri M, Ridde V, Louis VR, et al. Determinants of utilisation of maternal care services after the reduction of user fees: A case study from rural Burkina Faso. Health Pol 2011; 99(3):210-218.

Dunn RA, Tan AKG. Cervical cancer screening in Malaysia: Are targeted interventions necessary? Soc Sci Med 2010; 71(6):1089-1093.

Cheah YK, Goh KL. Determinants of the demand for health screening in Malaysia: The case of the aged population. Soc Sci J 2017; 54(3):305-313.

Cheah YK, Tang CF. Factors influencing the use of preventive medical care in Malaysia: Evidence from National Health and Morbidity Survey data. Asian Econ J 2017; 31(2):119-137.

Cheah YK. The utilization of diagnostic tests among the elderly: Evidence from Malaysia. Socio Econ Plan Sci 2018; 62:121-128.

Boutayeb A. The burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases in developing countries. In Preedy VR, Watson RR, eds. Handbook of Disease Burdens and Quality of Life Measures. New York: Springer 2010:531-546.

Kaestner R, Schiman C, Ward J. Education and health over the life cycle. NBER Working Paper No. 26836, 2020.

Department of Statistics Malaysia. Household Expenditure Survey 2014. Putrajaya: Department of Statistics Malaysia 2014.

Mok TP, Maclean G, Dalziel P. Household size economies: Malaysian evidence. Econ Anal Pol 2011; 41(2):203-223.

White H. A heteroskedasticity-consistent covariance matrix estimator and a direct test for heteroskedasticity. Econometrica 1980; 48(4):817-838.

How to Cite
Cheah, Y. K., Azira ABDUL ADZIS, Juhaida ABU BAKAR, Chor Foon TANG, Hock Kuang LIM, & Chee Cheong KEE. (2020). AGE, EDUCATION AND CONSUMPTION OF MEDICAL CARE: EVIDENCE FROM MALAYSIA. Malaysian Journal of Public Health Medicine, 20(1), 109-121.