Obesity and diabetes, the two lifestyle diseases, impose heavy burden on your pocket. A new study has found that adults who are suffering from the overweight problem and are type-2 diabetic can lower their expenses on health care by shedding some extra pounds.
The study was conducted by the researchers at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
Type-2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent diabetes, is the chronic condition in which the body loses its power to control or use insulin in a proper manner, leading to unbalanced sugar levels.
Nearly 80-90 percent people diagnosed with type-2 diabetes suffer from the obesity problem. Both the diseases are big health disasters and their combination becomes more dangerous for the patients as both together lower life expectancy, diminish the quality of life and impose burden on the health care costs altogether.
During the study, the researchers found that the obese type-2 diabetic adults can lower their health care expenses by adhering to a strict and balanced diet while increasing the duration of physical activity or exercise for losing weight.
Citing obesity as the root cause of several health problems including the cardiovascular disease, researchers say weight loss alone can lower the monetary burden on health care by an average of over USD 500 per year.
Study lead author Mark A. Espeland said, “This is the first study that shows weight loss can also save your pocket. Some lifestyle interventions like promoting weight loss and engaging in more physical activity are highly recommended for those who are overweight and obese with Type 2 diabetes to improve their health.”
Espeland is a professor of public health sciences at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
For the study, the researchers involved 5,121 overweight and obese adults diagnosed with type-2 diabetes. All the participants were aged between 45 and 76 years. All of them were party of the 2001 study on National Institute of Health-sponsored Action for Health in Diabetes. Their medical histories were regularly checked at regular intervals for the complete study period.
Nearly 50 percent of the participants at each of the 16 study sites were randomly assigned to either diabetes support and education program (DSE) or intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI).
Intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI) Vs Diabetes support and education program (DSE) : Findings
- Nearly 11 percent drop in hospitalization in ILI participants
- 15 percent of the in ILI participants had shorter stays at hospitals.
- ILI participants used fewer prescription medications.
- These participants could save on an average USD 5,280 in health care costs over 10 years.
- They had higher level of physical activity leading to lower weight throughout the study period against the DSE group.
- They were able to better control health problems like diabetes, blood pressure, sleep disorders, physical function and depression.
- Their cost saving was consistent regardless of the age, gender, initial weight or ethnicity.
The study’s findings were published in the journal Diabetes Care.
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