Medical claims costs rise with increasing BMI
To quantify the increased healthcare costs associated with body mass index (BMI).
A population of 35,932 employees who had completed a one-year health risk appraisal.
The medical and pharmacy costs were analyzed in relation to BMI, and the impact of diabetes and heart disease (two obesity-related health conditions) on cost, was examined.
Participants were classified as having a normal BMI, being overweight or obese.
- Annual medical costs increased by US$119.70 in people classified as overweight and obese.
- Drug costs increased by $82.60 per BMI point increase.
- Diabetes and heart disease were more common among employees with higher BMIs, and they also had higher medical costs related to these diseases.
- Annual medical costs related to diabetes and heart disease increased by $6.20 and $20.30, respectively, with every unit increase of BMI above the healthy range.
What does this mean?
In general, medical claim costs escalate with increasing BMI, and costs increase relative to BMI in the presence of diabetes and/or heart disease. Further, the risk for diabetes and heart disease increases with BMI.