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Obesity responsible for one-forth of the risk in health care costs from 1987 to 2001
Saturday, December 04, 2004 9:52 pm Email this article
Obesity accounts for more than one-quarter of the increase in health care costs from 1987 to 2001 according to a new study by Dr. Kenneth E. Thorpe, Robert W. Woodruff Professor and Chair, Department of Health Policy and Management, Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Obesity responsible for 27% of increase in health care costs per capita
Obesity accounts for an estimated 27 percent of the rise in health care costs per capita during that time after accounting for inflation.
Obesity responsible for 41% of increase in spending for heart disease, 38% for diabetes, 22% for elevated cholesterol
As far as specific diseases, obesity accounts for:
- 41 percent of the increased spending for heart disease,
- 38 percent of the increased spending for diabetes, and
- 22 percent of the increased spending for hyperlipidemia (elevated cholesterol and/or triglycerides).
Increased prevelance of obesity responsible for 12% of increase in health care spending
The increase in the prevelance of obesity alone accounts for 12 percent of the increased spending for health care during that time.
During that time, the prevelance of obesity has increased by 10.3 percent.
Need to promote weight loss in order to contain costs
The authors note that “future cost-containment efforts need to attack the rising prevalence and costs of obesity head on? and that “this will require a focus on developing effective interventions to promote weight loss among obese people.”
Data from two surveys
The data was taken from the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey (NMES) and the 2001 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, Household Component (MEPS-HC).
Lang L. Obesity linked to rising health care costs. Gastroenterology. 2004 Dec, 127(6):1657.
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