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HOME > Korean J Prev Med > Volume 35(1); 2002 > Article
Original Article Socioeconomic Costs of Obesity for Korean Adults.
Baek Geun Jeong, Ok Ryun Moon, Nam Soon Kim, Jae Heon Kang, Tae Ho Yoon, Sang Yi Lee, Sin Jae Lee
Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2002;35(1):1-12
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1Department of Preventive Medicine, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Korea.
2Department of Family Medicine, Inje university, Sanggye Paik Hospital, Korea.
3Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Cheju National University, Korea.

To estimate the socioeconomic costs of obesity in Korea, 1998. METHODS: The 1998 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1998 NHNES) data was used and 10,880 persons who had taken health examinations were selected for study. Essential hypertension, NIDDM (non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus), dyslipidemia, osteoarthritis, coronary heart disease, stroke were included as obesity related disease. The data of direct costs of obesity was obtained from the National Federation of Medical Insurance. The category of indirect costs was the loss of productivity caused by premature death and admission, time costs, traffic costs, nursing fees due to obesity. Multiple logistic regression model was developed to estimate prevalence odds ratio by obesity class adjusted demographic and socio-ecnomic factors and calculate PAF (Population Attributable Fraction) of obesity on obesity related disease. And we finally calculated the socioeconomic costs of obesity in relation to BMI with PAF. RESULTS: The direct costs of obesity were 2,126 billion~965 billion Won in considering out of pocket payment to uninsured services, and the indirect costs of obesity were 2,099 billion~1,086 billion Won. Consequently, in considering out of pocket payment to uninsured services, the socioeconomic costs of obesity were 4,225 billion~2,050 billion Won, which corresponded to about 0.094% ~0.046% of GDP and 1.88%~0.91 of total health care costs in Korea. CONCLUSIONS: Obesity represents a major health problem with significant economic implications for the society. This results are conservative estimates as far as all obesity related disease and all health care and indirect costs were not included due to missing information. Further studies are needed to caculate socioeconomic costs of obesity more exactly.

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