Aging Options

Just in time for the holidays: report ties BMI to health care costs

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A report from Duke Medicine found that health care costs correspond to an individual’s body mass index (BMI). As their BMI increases so too does their health costs. The study published in the journal Obesity, reported that researchers found that medical and drug claims rose gradually with each unit increase in BMI, beginning at a BMI of 19 (considered the low end of healthy).

Researchers found that any level of excess fat was detrimental. A healthy or normal BMI is within the range of 19-24. The study found that in addition to diabetes and hypertension (two diseases already associated with obesity) nearly a dozen other disease categories also grew in relation to BMI. The most expensive increase was associated with cardiovascular disease.

The annual healthcare costs for a person with a BMI of 19 was $2,368. That cost increased to $4,880 for a person with a BMI of 45.

Interestingly, individuals 75 and over in a separate study may not be harmed by being overweight. In that study, researchers found no relationship between dietary patterns and prevalence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome or mortality. There was an increased risk of hypertension for individuals who chose to east a diet characterized by high consumption of dairy and sweets.

Note: These reports are a matter of interest to this site because your health is your greatest asset.  Controlling your health will allow you to keep control over your financial, legal and housing options.  However, as with anything having to do with your health, I recommend that you consult a doctor about any concerns or changes in diet or exercise before making any adjustments.

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