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Diabetes, Obesity Significantly Impact Hospital Costs

Obese patients more likely to be diabetic and require significantly more hospital resources

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Obese patients consume considerable hospital resources, according to an upcoming study in Value in Health. In a related study, hospitals have room for improvement to achieve standards for hospital diabetes care from the American Diabetes Association, researchers report in the January issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Sunny Kim, Ph.D., of Florida International University in Miami, and a colleague reported in the first study an investigation of the association between obesity and diabetes among inpatients in the United States. In the second study, Jeffrey B. Boord, M.D., of the Tennessee Valley Health Care System in Nashville, and colleagues used a retrospective cohort study to evaluate how U.S. academic medical centers managed glucose control of their hospital inpatients.

In the study by Kim's team, patients with diabetes were significantly more likely to be obese or morbidly obese than their non-diabetic inpatient counterparts. Regardless of diabetes status, hospital charges were up to 18.7 percent higher for morbidly obese patients. In the study by Boord and colleagues, the investigators found a wide variation in glucose control performance among hospitals. For example, timely laboratory glucose assessment at admission ranged greatly (39 percent to 97 percent).

"Additional hospital resource use by this growing number of morbidly obese inpatients could be a burden to hospital financial systems," Kim's study concludes. Boord and colleagues add that "academic medical centers have opportunities to improve care to meet current American Diabetes Association hospital diabetes care standards."

Authors of the first study report financial relationships with Eli Lilly.

Abstract - Kim
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Abstract - Boord
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