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1.  Impact of BMI and BMI change on future drug expenditures in adults: results from the MONICA/KORA cohort study 
The evidence on the long-term economic effects of obesity is still scarce. This study aims to analyse the impact of body mass index (BMI) and BMI-change on future pharmaceutical utilisation and expenditures.
Based on data from 2,946 participants in a German population-based health survey (MONICA/KORA, 1994/95) and the follow-up study (2004/05), drug intake and expenditures were estimated using a bottom-up approach. Using univariate and multivariate methods, we analysed the impact of baseline BMI and BMI-change on drug utilisation and expenditures after 10 years.
The use of pharmaceuticals was more likely in moderately and severely obese compared to the normal weight group (OR 1.8 and 4.0, respectively). In those who reported pharmaceutical intake, expenditures were about 40% higher for the obese groups. A 1-point BMI-gain in 10 years was, on average, associated with almost 6% higher expenditures compared to a constant BMI.
The results suggest that obesity as well as BMI-gain are strong predictors of future drug utilisation and associated expenditures in adults, and thus highlight the necessity of timely and effective intervention and prevention programmes. This study complements the existing literature and provides important information on the relevance of obesity as a health problem.
PMCID: PMC3854520  PMID: 24139278
Obesity; Overweight; Expenditures; Pharmaceuticals; Weight gain
2.  Body weight changes and outpatient medical care utilisation: Results of the MONICA/KORA cohorts S3/F3 and S4/F4 
Objectives: To test the effects of body weight maintenance, gain, and loss on health care utilisation in terms of outpatient visits to different kinds of physicians in the general adult population.
Methods: Self-reported utilisation data were collected within two population-based cohorts (baseline surveys: MONICA-S3 1994/95 and KORA-S4 1999/2001; follow-ups: KORA-F3 2004/05 and KORA-F4 2006/08) in the region of Augsburg, Germany, and were pooled for present purposes. N=5,147 adults (complete cases) aged 25 to 64 years at baseline participated. Number of visits to general practitioners (GPs), internists, and other specialists as well as the total number of physician visits at follow-up were compared across 10 groups defined by body mass index (BMI) category maintenance or change. Body weight and height were measured anthropometrically. Hierarchical generalized linear regression analyses with negative binomial distribution adjusted for sex, age, socioeconomic status (SES), survey, and the need factors incident diabetes and first cancer between baseline and follow-up were conducted.
Results: In fully adjusted models, compared to the group of participants that maintained normal weight from baseline to follow-up, the following groups had significantly higher GP utilisation rates: weight gain from normal weight (+36%), weight loss from preobesity (+39%), maintained preobesity (+34%), weight gain after preobesity (+43%), maintained moderate obesity (+48%), weight gain from moderate obesity (+107%), weight loss from severe obesity (+114%), and maintained severe obesity (+83%). Regarding internists, those maintaining moderate obesity reported +107% more visits; those with weight gain from moderate obesity reported +91%. The latter group also had +41% more consultations with other physicians. Across all physicians, mean number of visits were estimated at 7.8 per year for maintained normal weight, 9 for maintained preobesity, 11 for maintained moderate obesity, and 12 for maintained severe obesity. Among those with weight loss, the mean number of visits were 8.7, 10.6 and 10.8 for baseline preobesity, moderate obesity, and severe obesity, respectively. Finally, those with weight gain from normal weight and preobesity reported 9.4 and 9.3 visits, respectively, and those with baseline moderate and follow-up severe obesity reported 13.1 visits (the most overall). Women reported higher GP and other physician utilisation. While all utilisation rates increased with age, GP utilisation was lower in middle to high SES groups.
Conclusion: Compared to maintained normal weight over a 7- to 10-year period, maintained overweight, weight gain and weight loss are associated with higher outpatient physician utilisation in adults, especially after baseline obesity. These effects only partly became insignificant after inclusion of incident diabetes or first cancer into the model. Future research should further elucidate the associations between weight development and health care utilisation by BMI status and the mechanisms underlying these associations.
PMCID: PMC3488805  PMID: 23133503
outpatient physician utilisation; obesity; body mass index; cohort studies; body weight maintenance, gain, and loss
3.  Programme Costing of a Physical Activity Programme in Primary Prevention: Should the Costs of Health Asset Assessment and Participatory Programme Development Count? 
This analysis aims to discuss the implications of the “health asset concept”, introduced by the WHO, and the “investment for health model” requiring a “participatory approach” of cooperative programme development applied on a physical activity programme for socially disadvantaged women and to demonstrate the related costing issues as well as the relevant decision context. The costs of programme implementation amounted to €48,700. Adding the costs for developing the programme design of €48,800 results in total costs of €97,500; adding on top of that the costs of asset assessment running to €35,600 would total €133,100. These four different cost figures match four different types of potentially relevant decisions contexts. Depending on the decision context the total costs, and hence the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of a health promotion intervention, could differ considerably. Therefore, a detailed cost assessment and the identification of the decision context are of crucial importance.
PMCID: PMC3318195  PMID: 22536517
4.  Costing of physical activity programmes in primary prevention: a review of the literature 
This literature review aims to analyse the costing methodology in economic analyses of primary preventive physical activity programmes. It demonstrates the usability of a recently published theoretical framework in practice, and may serve as a guide for future economic evaluation studies and for decision making.
A comprehensive literature search was conducted to identify all relevant studies published before December 2009. All studies were analysed regarding their key economic findings and their costing methodology.
In summary, 18 international economic analyses of primary preventive physical activity programmes were identified. Many of these studies conclude that the investigated intervention provides good value for money compared with alternatives (no intervention, usual care or different programme) or is even cost-saving. Although most studies did provide a description of the cost of the intervention programme, methodological details were often not displayed, and savings resulting from the health effects of the intervention were not always included sufficiently.
This review shows the different costing methodologies used in the current health economic literature and compares them with a theoretical framework. The high variability regarding the costs assessment and the lack of transparency concerning the methods limits the comparability of the results, which points out the need for a handy minimal dataset of cost assessment.
PMCID: PMC3402935  PMID: 22827967
Economics; Costs and Cost Analyses; Motor Activity; Primary prevention; Intervention Studies
5.  Economic Evaluation and Transferability of Physical Activity Programmes in Primary Prevention: A Systematic Review 
This systematic review aims to assess the characteristics of, and the clinical and economic evidence provided by, economic evaluations of primary preventive physical exercise interventions, and to analyse their transferability to Germany using recommended checklists. Fifteen economic evaluations from seven different countries met eligibility criteria, with seven of the fifteen providing high economic evidence in the special country context. Most of the identified studies conclude that the investigated intervention provide good value for money compared with alternatives. However, this review shows a high variability of the costing methods between the studies, which limits comparability, generalisability and transferability of the results.
PMCID: PMC2872359  PMID: 20617050
economic evaluation; cost-effectiveness; physical activity intervention; transferability; cost-utility; primary prevention

Results 1-5 (5)