Economic Impact of Obesity: Is Bariatric Surgery Cost-Effective?

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | May 1st, 2017

In recent years, obesity has taken the shape of an epidemic. There are now about one billion people worldwide who are overweight or obese. Obesity and overweight are risk factors linked to the appearance of a number of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, gall bladder diseases etc. It is estimated that the number of people worldwide with diabetes will increase from 175 million in 2000 to 353 million in 2030, with India and China together accounting for 24% of the total in 2050.

There are many direct and indirect costs involved in obesity and the diseases resultant of obesity. At an individual level, obesity imposes costs by limiting personal opportunity in many ways. Next, in the workplace (assuming the obese are employed, which they may not be, due in part to their condition), costs are borne by employers due to loss of productivity, absences, underperformance etc. Study shows that, in India, patient with only diabetes spends about 17.5% of annual income for in patient care, 7.7% of annual income in outpatient care and about 16.3% of the annual income in surgical care.

According to World health organization, the net loss to national income of India for diabetes and cardiovascular disease from 2005 to 2015 was about 330 billion.



Besides reducing weight(thereby increasing productivity), Bariatric surgery has been found to improve all the co-morbidities to the range of about 80-85%. Bariatric surgery appears to be a clinically effective and cost-effective intervention for moderately to severely obese people compared with non-surgical interventions. Downstream savings associated with bariatric surgery are estimated to offset the initial costs in 2-4 years.

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