22 Oct Women and Southern States Account For Majority of Morbid Obesity Admissions
[wysija_form id=”5″]MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Salman Nusrat M.D.
Assistant Professor, Section of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Nusrat: Obesity is a global epidemic and is one of the most taxing issues affecting healthcare in the United States. It is a well-established risk factor for increased morbidity and mortality. We looked at how morbid obesity (BMI>40) affected inpatient health care utilization over the last two decades. We found that:
- From 1997 to 2012, the number of patients discharged with a diagnosis of morbid obesity increased 11 folds from 10,883 to 124,650
- The majority of these patients were female (~80%) and aged between 18-44 years.
- Southern States accounted for majority of these admissions (37%). Majority of these patients were insured (~90%) and about three quarters of these admissions were in area with mean income above the 25 percentile.
- The number of hospitalizations for patients aged >45 years increased from 33% to 50%.
- -Even though the length of stay decreased from 5 days (1997) to 2.1 days (2012), the aggregate charges increased from $198 Million (1997) to $5.9 Billion (2012).
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Nusrat: Our analysis shows the increasing burden of morbid obesity in the hospitalized patient. There ware gender and regional differences with females and southern states accounting for majority of these admissions. Age trends signify an increasing prevalence in the older population. The aggregrate charges for these hospitalizations increased dramatically betwen 1997 and 2012. The several fold increase in prevalence of obesity between 1960s-1990s might have contributed to these findings. It is possible that these indiviuals are now older and have been obese for enough time to develop complications of obesity like diabetes and cardiac disease.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Nusrat: Our study sheds light on the rising burden of obesity on health care between 1997 and 2012. Interestingly, despite a decrease in mean duration of hospital stay, the mean charges per hospitalizations and aggregate charges increased significantly. It is likely that increase in co-morbid conditions resulted in this increase in cost but impact of increase in therapeutic procedures like gastric bypass can’t be overlooked. Further research should focus on verifying the exact cause of increased cost associated with the morbid obesity in the hospitalized patient.
ACG2015 abstract October 2015
Salman Nusrat M.D. (2015). Women and Southern States Account For Majority of Morbid Obesity Admissions MedicalResearch.com