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BREAKING MEDICAL NEWS December 10, 2004

Weight Problems Today Inflate Medicare Costs Tomorrow

December 10, 2004

Excess weight in young and middle-aged adults predicts higher Medicare costs in later life, according to a new JAMA report linking the weights of 7,623 women and 9,978 men in the years 1967-1973 to their Medicare costs two decades later (1984-2002). The data came from the Chicago Heart Association Detection Project in Industry. Cumulative Medicare charges for women who had been nonoverweight, overweight, obese, and severely obese were $76,866, $100,959, $125,470, and $174,752, respectively (P<.001 for trend). For men, these charges were $100,431, $109,098, $119,318, and $176,947, respectively (P<.001 for trend).

Daviglus ML, Liu K, Yan LL, et al. Relation of body mass index in young adulthood and middle age to Medicare expenditures in older age. JAMA 2004;292:2743-2749.

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