Navigation Links
Weight-loss surgery cost-effective for all obese
Date:7/14/2011

Bariatric surgery is not only cost-effective for treating people who are severely obese, but also for those who are mildly obese, according to a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The findings support making bariatric surgery available to all obese people, the researchers say.

Patients who have the surgery are more likely to keep weight off over time and have fewer medical problems related to their weight, indicating the procedure is a good value. But beyond being cost-effective, the analysis shows that bariatric surgery actually saves health-care dollars for the most severely obese patients who also have diseases related to their weight such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

"If lifetime medical costs are taken into consideration, surgery saves severely obese patients money," says Su-Hsin Chang, PhD, a postdoctoral research associate in the Division of Public Health Sciences and first author on the study published in the journal Maturitas.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines say candidates for bariatric surgery should have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more (about 100 pounds overweight for men and 80 pounds overweight for women on average) or a BMI of 35 to 40 if they also have obesity-related diseases. Many insurance companies pay for the procedure only if patients meet these criteria.

"Insurance companies often pay for treating obesity-related diseases," Chang says. "But a portion of those costs could be saved if they paid for bariatric surgery for a wider range of obese patients."

Among the many strategies for treating obesity, including dieting, exercising and medications, only bariatric surgery has been shown to be effective in maintaining a healthy weight over the long term. But surgery also is the most expensive strategy. Cost estimates range from $20,000-$25,000 for the initial surgery and don't include follow-up care.

In the United States, the upper limit for a medical procedure to be considered cost effective is $50,000 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY), a measure of the true value of treatment in terms of a person's quality and length of life. The assumption is that most people would be willing to pay up to $50,000 for an additional year of healthy life. Any amount less than that is considered cost effective.

Chang and her colleagues analyzed data from 170 studies looking at the effectiveness of bariatric surgery. The analysis only included studies that measured at least one outcome of interest such as weight loss, quality of life, complications and medical cost information.

They used this data to estimate and simulate the life expectancies and quality of life of people who underwent surgery versus people who did not. This simulation data then informed their cost-effectiveness analysis.

For the super obese, people with a body mass index (BMI) of 50 or greater (for example, a person who weighs 350 pounds and stands 5 feet 10 inches tall), the cost per quality-adjusted life year is actually negative. This means that, over a lifetime, the cost of bariatric surgery is less than the health-care costs associated with not having the procedure.

For the severely obese, people with BMIs of 40-50, the cost per QALY is about $1,900 for those with obesity-related disease and about $3,800 for those who are otherwise healthy. And for the moderately obese, people with BMIs of 35-40, the cost per QALY is about $2,400 for those with related medical problems and $3,900 for those who are healthy. While costs increase for healthier, less obese patients, all amounts are well below the $50,000 threshold.

"Other similar studies have found higher costs associated with bariatric surgery because they did not take the lifetime medical costs of the obesity-related diseases into consideration," Chang says.

This work also differs from previous cost analyses because it draws data from a much larger number of studies. While Chang says bariatric surgery in general is worth the high price tag, she points out that the analysis does not differentiate between types of bariatric surgery, such as lap band and gastric bypass.

"We did not intend to compare different types of weight loss surgery, but to generalize its effects and costs," she says. "Based on our analysis, bariatric surgery should be an option that is universally available to all obese people."


'/>"/>

Contact: Julia Evangelou Strait
straitj@wustl.edu
314-286-0141
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Weight-Loss Surgery Helps Less Obese Patients: Study
2. Can Weight-Loss Surgery Reverse Common Cause of Infertility?
3. Rushed Discharge After Weight-Loss Surgery May Raise Risks
4. Weight-Loss Surgery Can Be Effective Despite Depression
5. For Many, Weight-Loss Surgery Also Eases Migraines
6. Surgically shrinking the stomach when conservative weight-loss treatments fail
7. Weight-Loss Surgery May Lower Risk of Alzheimers in Diabetics
8. Weight-Loss Surgery Linked to Rise in Fracture Risk
9. Private weight-loss surgery clinics shedding quality patient care
10. Weight-Loss Surgery Seems No Riskier for Seniors
11. Weight-loss counseling most prevalent between male physicians and obese men
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... An educational campaign aimed at everyone ... courtesy of awareness-driven celebrities and thought leaders. It also provides insight to the ... leaders such as Bioness. , As patients feel increasingly concerned about the ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... Aimed at nurses and ... stories, which come courtesy of leaders in the nursing and health care industry. It ... advocates and associations—namely Abilene Christian University. , As the nursing industry is coming ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... ... There are many ways to cook a hot dog, but new research commissioned ... dogs straight off the grill. Of the 90 percent of Americans who say they ... hot dog, far outpacing other cooking methods such as steaming (12 percent), microwaving (9 ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... (IP) to its specialty academic programs. , Answering to the increasing demand for ... programs in health law, and environmental and land use law. ,  , “The ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Cardiac arrhythmia is ... impact on long-term patient survival, reports a team of UPMC researchers in the ... in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, provide critical information that will ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... , May 25, 2016 MedDay, ... disorders, announces that an oral presentation entitled "High doses of ... MS-SPI trial" will be given by Professor Ayman Tourbah ... 2nd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) in ... and related disorders 3" will take place on Sunday, 29 ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... -- Cirujanos holandeses han puesto en marcha ... a compartir sus mejores prácticas por el mundo y ... de Europa, África, Asia y ... que combina la transmisión en vivo con mensajería instantánea ... Educación   "Imagine un médico de Medicines sans ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... May 24, 2016 ARANZ Medical ... the healthcare sector, has been named the Coretex Hi-Tech Emerging ... 2016. Dr Bruce Davey , CEO of ... team.  It,s really good to be recognised for the work ... products are used in 35 countries around the world from ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: