Abdominal obesity and healthcare costs related to hypertension and diabetes in older adults

<div><p>ABSTRACT Objective: To analyze the association between excess abdominal fat and healthcare costs related to hypertension and diabetes Mellitus in older adults. Methods: These cross-sectional analyses are part of the Health, Wellbeing and Aging Study conducted in São Paulo, Brazil, with 806 older adults with self-reported hypertension and diabetes Mellitus. The study included the annual costs with medicines, hospital admissions, and outpatient services for hypertension and diabetes Mellitus control. Excess abdominal fat was diagnosed based on waist circumference. Level of physical activity, age, and gender were considered covariates. The sample was divided into two groups according to waist circumference. Multiple logistic regression analyzed the associations between annual costs and waist circumference. Results: The cost of services and hospitalizations (R$551.05; 95%CI=418.27-683.83) and total costs (R$817.77; 95%CI=669.21-966.33) were higher in the excess abdominal fat group. Older adults with high waist circumference had higher odds of increasing annual costs due to medicines (OR=2.6; 95%CI=1.13-3.77), regardless of gender, age, and level of physical activity. Conclusion: Healthcare costs for treating hypertension and diabetes Mellitus in older adults are higher in the presence of excess abdominal fat.</p></div>