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Impact of Health Shocks on Lifestyle Behavioural Changes

Last registered on October 28, 2019


Trial Information

General Information

Impact of Health Shocks on Lifestyle Behavioural Changes
Initial registration date
October 25, 2019

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
October 28, 2019, 1:27 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


Primary Investigator

Imperial College London

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
There are two branches of this study, each will be written as its own paper. The first will assess the impact of receiving a health shock on di fferent lifestyle behaviour outcomes; it will also study how the response to the shock may vary across diff erent behaviours. The
health shock will be modelled as a signal (information) of the relationship between diff erent lifestyle behaviours and health, as well as a signal on health status. The outcomes will be diet, exercise, smoking, and alcohol consumption.

The second study, which will build upon the fi rst, shall investigate how much the (Big 5) personality characteristics can explain variation in changes to lifestyle behaviours that are expected to be found in the fi rst study. In other words, the second study will try to provide
a possible explanation for why some individuals do make successful lifestyle changes after a health shock given that there is literature suggesting that many people do not.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Verdun, Zoey. 2019. "Impact of Health Shocks on Lifestyle Behavioural Changes." AEA RCT Registry. October 28.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The difference between the pre-treatment and post-treatment value for each of the following outcomes:

1) Diet - Number of servings of fruit and vegetables consumed per day

2) Exercise - Number of days in the past four weeks did a walk of at least 10 minutes
3) Exercise - Number of days in the past four weeks spent walking 30 minutes or more

4) Smoking - Currently smoke cigarettes (or not)
5) Smoking - Number of cigarettes smoked per day

6) Alcohol - Number of days had an alcoholic drink in the past 7 days
7) Alcohol - Total number of drinks10 consumed on heaviest drinking day in the past 7 days
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Health shock is captured by a diagnosis of a heart attack and/or diabetes. The use of the matching empirical approach will provide a way to have comparable treatment and control groups. Outcome
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
The matching technique is used such that, controlling for observable characteristics, especially pre-treatment risk of a health shock, individuals receive the health shock as good as randomly.
Randomization Unit
Individual, clustered at the household.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Some of the individuals are most likely in a household together, therefore the analysis is clustered at the household level. I do not know how many households are in my sample.
Sample size: planned number of observations
16,000-20,000 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
200-300 individuals treated, the rest of the 16,000-20,000 individuals are controls.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
October 26, 2019, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Data Collection Completion Date
October 26, 2019, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
230 diagnosed, 15,623 not diagnosed
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Using individual-level panel data from Understanding Society I estimate the response to a disease diagnosis — heart attack or diabetes diagnosis — on a healthy lifestyle index. To overcome the endogeneity of a diagnosis, I match on initial health risks. I find individuals improve their overall lifestyle healthiness when faced with a large negative health event such as a diagnosis (heart attack or diabetes) whereas they do not respond to solely receiving information about certain disease risk factors, via a diagnosis of high blood pressure or chest pain. The drivers of the overall e ect are a decrease in the number of cigarettes smoked and an increase in the probability to quit drinking alcohol; there is no signifcant effect found for either diet or exercise. I find some heterogeneity by sex, but only when looking at individual lifestyle behaviours. Overall, the findings suggest that the realization of a disease diagnosis leads individuals to improve their lifestyle behaviours, while only a signal about their health risks leads to no such change.
VERDUN, Zoey Sarah, Impact of a health shock on lifestyle behaviours, EUI ECO, 2020/02 -

Reports & Other Materials