Monday, February 04, 2008

A story that's not all that surprising....

...if one has been paying attention.

In a paper published online Monday in the Public Library of Science Medicine journal, Dutch researchers found that the health costs of thin and healthy people in adulthood are more expensive than those of either fat people or smokers.

Van Baal and colleagues created a model to simulate lifetime health costs for three groups of 1,000 people: the "healthy-living" group (thin and non-smoking), obese people, and smokers. The model relied on "cost of illness" data and disease prevalence in the Netherlands in 2003.

The researchers found that from age 20 to 56, obese people racked up the most expensive health costs. But because both the smokers and the obese people died sooner than the healthy group, it cost less to treat them in the long run.

3 comments:

Pastor_Jeff said...

The results make sense. I was struck by this, though: Obese people had the most diabetes, and healthy people had the most strokes.

That holds true in my observation. Personally, I think I'd almost rather die of heart disease at 77 than live another 6 years after a severe stroke.

Bottom line: if you're fat or a smoker, you're going to have a lower quality of life due to health problems, a shorter life span, and you have to pay more for coverage (which you won't use as much). Maybe insurance companies should ask people if they exercise and charge healthy people more for long-term care.

Even though I am a thin non-smoker, cigarette taxes and the war on smoking really bother me. It's simply a power play by the majority to extort money and punish people for behaviors we don't like.

Icepick said...

Personally, I think I'd almost rather die of heart disease at 77 than live another 6 years after a severe stroke.

At that age, probably.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Yes, well, I'm not going to chug butterfat just so I can die at 50 and leave more money in the pool for everyone else.

Everything in moderation. No need to rush to an MI.