Background Overweight/obesity is a growing health risk in Korea. The impact of overweight/obesity on pharmaceutical expenditure can be larger if individuals have multiple risk factors and multiple comorbidities. The current study estimated the combined effects of overweight/obesity and other unhealthy behaviors on pharmaceutical expenditure. Methods An instrumental variable quantile regression model was estimated using Korea Health Panel Study data. The current study extracted data from 3 waves (2009, 2010, and 2011). Results The final sample included 7148 person-year observations for adults aged 20 years or older. Overweight/obese individuals had higher pharmaceutical expenditure than their non-obese counterparts only at the upper quantiles of the conditional distribution of pharmaceutical expenditure (by 119% at the 90th quantile and 115% at the 95th). The current study found a stronger association at the upper quantiles among men (152%, 144%, and 150% at the 75th, 90th, and 95th quantiles, respectively) than among women (152%, 150%, and 148% at the 75th, 90th, and 95th quantiles, respectively). The association at the upper quantiles was stronger when combined with moderate to heavy drinking and no regular physical check-up, particularly among males. Conclusion The current study confirms that the association of overweight/obesity with modifiable unhealthy behaviors on pharmaceutical expenditure is larger than with overweight/obesity alone. Assessing the effect of overweight/obesity with lifestyle risk factors can help target groups for public health intervention programs.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Research support from the Korea National Research Foundation ( 2014R1A1A3A04049984 ) is gratefully acknowledged. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official view of the Korea National Research Foundation. The Korea National Research Foundation had no involvement in preparation and submission of this manuscript. All authors have no conflict of interest to disclose.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmaceutical Science