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New Study Shows Morbidly Obese Workforce Has Higher Prevalence of 100+ Diseases and Conditions
Date:4/29/2009

Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the leading government agency for research on health care quality, costs, outcomes and patient safety. The evaluation included the AHRQ's list of 17 major disease categories and 261 specific disease states and conditions.

The study also found that those who had bariatric surgery had a significant decrease in prevalence in 26 of 106 AHRQ specific diseases and conditions - about one-fourth. The prevalence of Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol or hyperlipidemia, osteoarthritis and intervertebral disc disorders dropped by about half, hypertension dropped by about one-third and asthma dropped by almost three-quarters within two to four months after surgery. Employees were generally able to maintain or further decrease prevalence for up to two years. Patients experienced an increase in prevalence in conditions generally associated with bariatric surgery, including anemia, surgical/medical care complications, nutritional deficiencies and nausea and vomiting.

According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), about 220,000 people had some form of bariatric surgery in 2008 and more than 15 million people in the U.S. are morbidly obese.(2) Guidelines from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) state that a person must have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more, or a BMI of 35 or more with an obesity-related disease to be a candidate for bariatric surgery.(3)

Study Results

The study found that employees with morbid obesity had significantly higher annual prevalence rates in all 17 major diagnostic categories (MDC) except pregnancy and perinatal conditions and a higher prevalence in 102 out of 131 specific diagnostic categories, as classified by the AHRQ. The annual prevalence of diseases and conditions in employees with morbid obesity and employees who did not have morbid obesity compared as follows:

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SOURCE Human Capital Management Services Group
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