Diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol impact costs
Economic and humanistic outcomes associated with comorbid type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension among individuals who are overweight or obese. Kannan H, Thompson S, Bolge SC. J Occup Environ Med. 2008. 50: 542–549.
To examine the effect of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels on work productivity, the use of medical resources and the quality of life of individuals who are overweight or obese.
19,759 individuals who completed the 2006 National Health and Wellness and the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Surveys, who were classified as being overweight or obese (i.e. body mass index >27 kg/m2).
The presence of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels were compared with absence from work due to illness, reduced on-the-job productivity, work productivity loss, activity impairment, resource utilization, and quality of life measures.
- All three separate conditions had a considerable impact on work productivity loss and activity impairment, with diabetes having the strongest association at 26% overall work impairment vs 20% for obesity and overweight.
- Hospital stays were generally longest and frequency of emergency room visits highest in individuals with all three conditions when compared with those who weren't obese or overweight.
- Furthermore, the occurrence of all three conditions had the strongest negative impact on physical and mental well-being.
What does this mean?
Interventions such as lifestyle management programs are urgently needed to both manage and stem the increase in the frequency of these conditions and obesity.