Asthma treatment can cost 30 per cent more for obese patients, according to clinical research.
It’s common knowledge that piling on the pounds increases the risk of diseases like hypertension.
Even so, the implications of obesity are wide-ranging; it raises treatment costs for asthma, a local study found.
Polyclinic patients who are obese – with a body mass index (BMI) of 27 and above – pay close to $200 more for asthma treatment than those of a healthy weight.
Patients with a healthy BMI of less than 24 spend around $605 on treatment per year. An obese person spends $795, while an overweight person – with a BMI of 24 to 27 – pays $675.
The 10-year study of 939 polyclinic patients, which delved into the factors influencing asthma treatment costs, was headed by Dr Tan Ngiap Chuan, director of research at SingHealth Polyclinics.
While the study did not manage to pin down the source of higher fees, Dr Tan told The Straits Times that this could be due to larger quantities of medication.
“Higher doses of medication are often needed to match the weight of the patient,” he said. “Using the dose for a normal-weight individual may be inadequate for an obese patient.”
Read The Straits Times for more.