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J Pediatr Psychol. 2010 Sep;35(8):883-91. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsp122. Epub 2009 Dec 21.

The relationship among child weight status, psychosocial functioning, and pediatric health care expenditures in a medicaid population.

Author information

1
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32610, USA. djanicke@phhp.ufl.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To examine the association between weight status and health service use, while considering the influence of psychosocial functioning and demographic variables.

METHODS:

Two hundred child-parent dyads were recruited from pediatric primary care clinics and completed measures of height, weight, and questionnaires assessing psychosocial functioning. Claims and expenditure data over a 12-month retrospective period were extracted from the Medicaid claims database.

RESULTS:

Children who were obese incurred greater health service use and expenditures than children who were of a healthy weight, even after controlling for psychosocial functioning and other demographic variables. Children who were overweight (but not obese) did not have differing levels of claims or expenditures than their healthy weight peers.

CONCLUSIONS:

Understanding the impact of pediatric obesity on long-term expenditures is critical. These results provide some indication of the financial savings that might be achieved if obese children were supported to achieve a healthier weight status.

PMID:
20026565
DOI:
10.1093/jpepsy/jsp122
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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