The economic burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including treatment costs and income and productivity losses, is a growing concern in developing countries, where NCD medical expenditure may offset consumption of other essential commodities. This study examines the role of NCDs in household resource allocation in Bangladesh. We use the Bangladesh Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) 2010 to obtain expenditure data on 11 household expenditure categories and 12 food expenditure sub-categories for 12,240 households. Household NCD status was determined through self-report of at least one of the six major NCDs within the household-heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, kidney diseases, asthma, and cancer. We estimated unadjusted and regressionadjusted differences in household expenditure shares between NCD and non-NCD households. We further investigated how consumption of different food sub-categories is related to NCD status, distinguishing between household economic levels. The medical expenditure share was estimated to be 59% higher for NCD households than non-NCD households, and NCD households had lower expenditure shares on food, clothing, hygiene, and energy. Regression results indicated that presence of NCDs was associated with lower relative expenditure on clothing and housing in all economic subgroups, and with lower expenditure on food among marginally poor households. Having an NCD was significantly associated with higher household spending on tobacco and higher-calorie foods such as sugar, beverages, meat, dairy, and fruit, and with lower spending on fish, vegetables, and legumes. The findings indicate a link between NCDs and the possibility of adverse economic effects on the household by highlighting the potential displacement effect on household consumption that might occur through higher medical expenditure and lower spending on essentials. The findings might also point to a need for raising awareness about the link between NCDs and diet in Bangladesh.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)