Impact of overweight or obesity trajectory on health expenditure in Korea

T. H. Kim, E. Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background This study aimed to identify the effect of the overweight or obesity (OWOB) trajectory on current health care expenditure in South Korea. Methods Ten years of publicly released data (2002-12) were obtained in 2016 from a retrospective cohort of National Health Insurance System claims. This study included 51,844 adults (aged 30-59 years in 2002) and 21,196 elderly adults (aged ≥ 60 years in 2002). Results Compared with adults who maintained normal weight (NW), higher yearly total health expenditures were estimated for adults who lost weight over the 10-year period: By 11.5% (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.18-22.96%) when changing from NW to underweight (UW) and 6.2% (95% CI: 0.47-12.01%) from OWOB to UW/NW. Elderly adults had higher health expenditures when they lost weight by 14.0% (95% CI: 0.37-27.70%) from NW to UW and 6.8% (95% CI: 0.13-13.51%) from OWOB to UW/NW compared with when they maintained NW. Conclusions These findings indicate the importance of early intervention to control OWOB, particularly because people in late adulthood have greater health care needs for reasons other than OWOB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Public Health (United Kingdom)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (2017R1A2B4003373; 2019R1A2C1003259).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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