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Revista médica de Chile

versão impressa ISSN 0034-9887


ZARATE, Aldo et al. Influence of obesity on health care costs and absenteeism among employees of a mining company. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2009, vol.137, n.3, pp.337-344. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: The health associated costs of obesity can represent between 2% and 9% of the total health costs of a given country. Aim: To assess the impact of obesity on health care costs and absenteeism in a cohort of mine workers. Patients and wethods: Prospective study of 4.673 men, employees of a mining company, aged 49 ± 7 years that were followed for 24 ± 11 months. Total health care cost and days of sick leave were recordedfor each individual. The association between obesity and these variables was analyzed by logistic regression adjusting for co-morbidities, age and other variables. Results: Mean annual health care costs for obese workers were 17% higher (p <0.001) compared to workers with normal weight and 58% higher (p <0.001) for workers with severe and morbid obesity. Mean annual days of sick leave increased by 25%o in the obese (p =0.002) and by 57%o in subjects with severe and morbid obesity (p <0.001). For health care costs the most significant predictors were: presence of diabetes mellitus (Odds ratio (OR) 6.21, 95%o confidence intervals (95% CI) 4.9 to 7.9), hypertension (OR 3-99; 95% CI3-4 to 4.6) and severe and morbid obesity (OR 2.55, 95%o CI 1.9 to 3-4). For absenteeism the most significant predictors were: presence of diabetes mellitus (OR 1.58, 95%> CI 1.2 to 2.0), hypertension (OR 1,34, 95%> CI 1.2 to 1.6) and severe and morbid obesity (OR 1.50, 95%o CI 1.1 to 2.1). Conclusions: Obesity increases significantly health care costs and absenteeism.

Palavras-chave : Comorbidity; Health expenditures; Obesity.

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