Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome



Korean J Obes 2008; 17(2): 91-98

Published online June 1, 2008

Copyright © Korean Society for the Study of Obesity.

Medical cost and hospital visit by obesity and central obesity

Nam Seok Joo, Yong Woo Park(1), Tae Soo Park(2), Geon Hong Shin(2), Rae Woong Park(3), Bom Taeck Kim*

Department of family Medicine, Ulsan University, Department of Family Medicine, Catholic Department of Family Practice and Community Health, Ajou University,


Background: We evaluated and the mean medical cost
and frequency of hospital visits of the obese Koreans in
economic aspects.
Methods: We analyzed 14,198 biannual health
examination data (8,074 women and 6,124 men), done by
National Health Insurance Cooperation in 2004. Using the
anthropometric data and medical cost, frequency of
hospital visits of subjects, the relationship between simple
obesity, central obesity, obesity related diseases and the
mean medical cost, frequency of hospital visits was
Results: People in obesity had more obesity related
disease prevalence than non-obese people and also people
who had obesity related diseases showed significantly
higher medical costs and frequency of hospital visits than
who had not, from the forties to sixties in women, and
from the fifties to seventies in men. The odds ratios
having the highest quartile in medical cost were the 21.13
(95%CI; 9.69~46.09, P < 0.001) in women and 24.09
(95%CI; 13.42-25, P < 0.001) who had main disease
codes with obesity. As for BMI, over 25 kg/m2, both the
mean medical cost and frequency of hospital visits were
significantly higher than those of BMI below 25 kg/m2 in
women, but not in men.
Conclusion: In middle-aged and older in both genders,
the mean medical cost and hospital visit were significantly
high in obese and central obese women and men.
Especially, subjects who had main disease code with
obesity had the highest odds ratio of having the highest
quartile of mean medical cost. In women, the body mass
index was 25 kg/m2 that showed the different medical

Keywords: Medical cost, Body mass index, Central
obesity, Obesity related disease