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Am J Health Promot. 2002 Mar-Apr;16(4):225-33.

Differences in health care costs and utilization among adults with selected lifestyle-related risk factors.

Author information

1
College of Health and Human Performance, 237 SFH, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study examined the relationship between lifestyle-related health risks and health care costs and utilization in adults.

DESIGN:

A 2-year prospective study with no intervention was used to compare health care utilization and costs in employees with different levels of health risks.

SETTING:

Data were collected at a primarily white-collar worksite during 1994 and 1995.

SUBJECTS:

Subjects included 982 employees and spouses, mean age 32.1 +/- 10.1 years.

MEASURES:

Employee medical claims obtained from a third-party administrator were analyzed with respect to health care expenses and utilization. Exercise habits, stress, and overall wellness were assessed by self-report and obesity by the body mass index (BMI). Regression, regression with outliers removed, and odds ratios were used to analyze the associations.

RESULTS:

Employees who were at high risk for overall wellness (2.4 times), stress (1.9 times), and obesity (1.7 times) were more likely to have high health care costs (> $5,000) than subjects not at high risk. Mean total medical costs also were greater for high-risk subjects compared to lower risk subjects for overall wellness (difference = $1,973; F = 10.65, p = .001), stress (difference = $1,137; F = 7.35, p = .007), and obesity (difference = $1,092; F = 9.09, p = .003). The exercise habits measure was not significantly associated with health care costs or utilization.

CONCLUSIONS:

Results indicate that health risks, particularly obesity, stress, and general lifestyle, are significant predictors of health care costs and utilization in employed young adults.

PMID:
11913328
DOI:
10.4278/0890-1171-16.4.225
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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