Skip to content

Journal Article

Using biomarkers to predict healthcare costs: evidence from a UK household panel


Publication date

Sep 2020


We investigate the extent to which healthcare service utilisation and costs can be predicted from biomarkers, using the UK Understanding Society panel. We use a sample of 2314 adults who reported no history of diagnosed long-lasting health conditions at baseline (2010/11), when biomarkers were collected. Five years later, their GP, outpatient (OP) and inpatient (IP) utilisation was observed. We develop an econometric technique for count data observed within ranges and a method of combining administrative reference cost data with the survey data without exact individual-level matching. Our composite biomarker index (allostatic load) is a powerful predictor of costs: for those with a baseline allostatic load of at least one standard deviation (1-s.d.) above mean, a 1-s.d. reduction reduces GP, OP and IP costs by around 18%.

Published in

Journal of Health Economics







Economics, Health, Life Course Analysis, Social Stratification, and Biology


Open Access; Under a Creative Commons license

Related publications

  1. Baseline health and public healthcare costs five years on: a predictive analysis using biomarker data in a prospective household panel

    Apostolos Davillas and Stephen Pudney

    1. Economics
    2. Health
    3. Life Course Analysis
    4. Social Stratification
    5. Biology


Research home

Research home


Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest