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Obesity in middle age may drastically raise future medicare expenditures

se men, total average annual charges were, respectively, about $7,200, $8,390, $10,130 and $13,675.

Corresponding total cumulative charges were also were significantly higher up to almost $177,000 for severely obese men. Approximately 130 million U.S. adults are overweight or obese. At the same time, the U.S. population is aging rapidly. Data from the National Center for Health Statistics indicate that the proportion of U.S. adults aged 65 and older will increase from about 12 percent currently to 20 percent by 2050.

"With current trends of increasing overweight and obesity afflicting all age groups, urgent preventive measures are required not only to lessen the burden of disease and disability associated with excess weight but also to contain future health care costs incurred by the aging population," Daviglus said.

"Public health efforts need to include comprehensive national strategies and resources for primary prevention of weight gain from early life on, with the goal to contain and end the obesity epidemic and reduce health care costs among older persons," Daviglus said.

Colloborating with Daviglus on this study were Kiang Liu, professor of preventive medicine; Lijing L. Yan; Amber Pirzada, M.D.; Larry Manheim; Daniel B. Garside; Renwei Wang, M.D.; Alan R. Dyer; Philip Greenland M.D., Harry W. Dingman Professor of Cardiology and chair of preventive medicine; and Jeremiah Stamler, M.D., emeritus professor of preventive medicine, Feinberg School; and Willard G. Manning, University of Chicago.


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Contact: Elizabeth Crown
e-crown@northwestern.edu
312-503-8928
Northwestern University
7-Dec-2004


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