Health-care costs for morbidly obese adults are nearly twice those of people considered to be of normal weight, says a study led by University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers.
The study found that medical expenditures for morbidly obese adults in the year 2000 were 81 percent more than for normal-weight adults, 65 percent more than overweight adults, and 47 percent more than obese adults. The excess costs among morbidly obese adults resulted from greater spending on visits to the doctor, outpatient hospital care, inpatient care and prescription drugs, the researchers say. "The economic burden of morbid obesity among U.S. adults is substantial," says David Arterburn, MD, assistant professor of internal medicine and researcher at the Institute for the Study of Health at UCs Academic Health Center.
The study, led by Dr. Arterburn, appears in the Feb. 14, 2005 issue of the International Journal of Obesity. In 2000, nearly 5 million U.S. adults were considered morbidly obese, bringing health-care spending associated with excess body weight to more than $11 billion that year.
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