Do Statins Reduce the Health and Health Care Costs of Obesity?

TitleDo Statins Reduce the Health and Health Care Costs of Obesity?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsGaudette, É, Goldman, DP, Messali, A, Sood, N
Date Published2015 Jul
ISSN Number1179-2027
KeywordsAged, Computer Simulation, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Health Care Costs, Humans, Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors, Life Expectancy, Markov chains, Models, Economic, Obesity, Quality-Adjusted Life Years

CONTEXT: Obesity impacts both individual health and, given its high prevalence, total health care spending. However, as medical technology evolves, health outcomes for a number of obesity-related illnesses improve. This article examines whether medical innovation can mitigate the adverse health and spending associated with obesity, using statins as a case study. Because of the relationship between obesity and hypercholesterolaemia, statins play an important role in the medical management of obese individuals and the prevention of costly obesity-related sequelae.

METHODS: Using well-recognized estimates of the health impact of statins and the Future Elderly Model (FEM)-an established dynamic microsimulation model of the health of Americans aged over 50 years-we estimate the changes in life expectancy, functional status and health care costs of obesity due to the introduction and widespread use of statins.

RESULTS: Life expectancy gains of statins are estimated to be 5-6 % greater for obese individuals than for healthy-weight individuals, but most of these additional gains are associated with some level of disability. Considering both medical spending and the value of quality-adjusted life-years, statins do not significantly alter the costs of class 1 and 2 obesity (body mass index [BMI] ≥30 and ≥35 kg/m(2), respectively) and they increase the costs of class 3 obesity (BMI ≥40 kg/m(2)) by 1.2 %.

CONCLUSIONS: Although statins are very effective medications for lowering the risk of obesity-associated illnesses, they do not significantly reduce the costs of obesity.

User Guide Notes

Alternate JournalPharmacoeconomics
Citation Key10902
PubMed ID25576147
PubMed Central IDPMC4490078
Grant ListP01AG033559 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P01 AG033559 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R56 AG045135 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P30 AG043073 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P30 AG024968 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P30AG024968 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States