Poster 557 Inpatient Burden of Morbid Obesity in U.S.: An Analysis of Time Trends from 1997 to 2012

Salman Nusrat, MD
Salman Nusrat, MD

Author Insight from Salman Nusrat, MD, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

What’s new here and important for clinicians?

Prevalence of obesity has increased over time. We aimed to study the impact of this on health care burden. Our results show that in 2012, 124,650 patients were discharged with primary diagnosis of morbid obesity. Females (78%) and southern states accounted for majority of these admissions. Though majority of these patients aged between 18-44; from 1997 to 2012 we saw an increase in number hospitalizations for the individuals older than 44 (32% to 50%). During our period of analysis despite the decrease in length of hospital stay from 5 days to 2.1 days the aggregate cost increased about 29 folds from $198 million to $5.9 Billion (21 times if inflation adjusted cost). Our results point to how morbid obesity has significantly contributed to healthcare burden.

What do patients need to know?

Healthcare costs in the US is a contentious debate topic, and affects all Americans. Our analysis proves that obesity has helped skyrocket the costs associated with healthcare since the turn of the millennium. We found that the number of patients diagnosed with Morbid obesity (BMI>35) who were hospitalized almost doubled during this time, and that even though these patients spend much less time in the hospital, costs of their care have increased nearly 29 folds. We want to underline how reducing obesity in the American population will not only improve our health and longevity, but reduce the costs of healthcare for every American.

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Author Contact

Salman Nusrat, MD, Gastroenterology Attending, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center


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