Disclosure: The authors have no conflict of interest
Obesity and people with disabilities: The implications for health care expenditures
Article first published online: 5 SEP 2013
Copyright © 2013 The Obesity Society
Volume 21, Issue 12, pages E798–E804, December 2013
How to Cite
Anderson, W. L., Wiener, J. M., Khatutsky, G. and Armour, B. S. (2013), Obesity and people with disabilities: The implications for health care expenditures. Obesity, 21: E798–E804. doi: 10.1002/oby.20531
Funding agencies: This study was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) [Contract # 200-2007-22644, Task # 05]. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Author contributions: WA, JW and BA conceived the research design. WA and GK analyzed the data. All authors were involved in writing the article and had final approval of the submitted and published versions.
- Issue published online: 3 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 5 SEP 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 26 JUN 2013 12:51PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Received: 20 JAN 2013
This study estimates additional average health care expenditures for overweight and obesity for adults with disabilities vs. without.
Design and Methods
Descriptive and multivariate methods were used to estimate additional health expenditures by service type, age group, and payer using 2004–2007 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data.
In 2007, 37% of community-dwelling Americans with disabilities were obese vs. 27% of the total population. People with disabilities had almost three times ($2,459) the additional average obesity cost of people without disabilities ($889). Prescription drug expenditures for obese people with disabilities were three times as high and outpatient expenditures were 74% higher. People with disabilities in the 45- to 64-year age group had the highest obesity expenditures. Medicare had the highest additional average obesity expenditures among payers. Among people with prescription drug expenditures, obese people with disabilities had nine times the prevalence of diabetes as normal weight people with disabilities. Overweight people with and without disabilities had lower expenditures than normal-weight people with and without disabilities.
Obesity results in substantial additional health care expenditures for people with disabilities. These additional expenditures pose a serious current and future problem, given the potential for higher obesity prevalence in the coming decade.