Real-world impact of ongoing regular exercise in overweight and obese US adults with diabetes on health care utilization and expenses

Jun Wu, Mary Lynn Davis-Ajami, Zhiqiang K. Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aims: To assess the effect of regular exercise on health care utilization patterns and expenses in a real-world national sample of overweight and obese US adults with diabetes. Methods: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data (2010–2015) identified adults with diabetes and a body mass index (kg/m2) ≥ 25. Two groups were created: exercise (moderate or vigorous physical activity >30 min at least five times weekly) and non-exercise groups. Outcomes measured: average total health care expenses (per-person per-annum) and the likelihood of hospitalization. Results: Among 5140 overweight and obese adults with diabetes, 49.1% reported exercising at least five times weekly. The exercise group showed lower medical care and prescription drug utilization than the non-exercise group (p < 0.001). Total unadjusted health expenses in the exercise group were $5651 lower than the non-exercise group (p < 0.001). After controlling for socioeconomic and health-related variables, regular exercise reduced total health care expenses by 22.1% (p < 0.001) and the likelihood of hospitalization by 28% (p = 0.001). Conclusions: Reduced hospitalization and health care expenses were associated with regular exercise (≥30 min at least five times weekly) in overweight and obese adults with diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-440
Number of pages11
JournalPrimary Care Diabetes
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2019

Keywords

  • Diabetes
  • Exercise
  • Health care costs
  • Health care utilization
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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