Health Care Costs Associated With Obesity Rising

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The percent of US national medical expenditures devoted to treating obesity-related illness in adults rose from 6.13% in 2001 to 7.91% in 2015.
The percent of US national medical expenditures devoted to treating obesity-related illness in adults rose from 6.13% in 2001 to 7.91% in 2015.

HealthDay News — The amount of US health care resources devoted to treating obesity-related illness in US adults rose 29% from 2001 to 2015, according to a review published in Clinical Chemistry.

Adam Biener, PhD, from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in Rockville, MD, and colleagues analyzed data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (2001 to 2015) to estimate the percentage of health care costs associated with adult obesity, both for the United States as a whole and for the most populous states.

The researchers found that the percent of US national medical expenditures devoted to treating obesity-related illness in adults rose from 6.13% in 2001 to 7.91% in 2015.

There were substantial differences across states, with some states (Arizona, California, Florida, and New York) devoting 5% to 6% of medical expenditures to obesity, vs North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin, which spent >12% of all health care dollars on obesity.

"A substantial and rising percentage of health care costs are associated with obesity," the authors write.

Reference

Biener A, Cawley J, Meyerhoefer C. The impact of obesity on medical care costs and labor market outcomes in the US. Clin Chem. 2018;64:108-117.

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