Journal of Epidemiology
Online ISSN : 1349-9092
Print ISSN : 0917-5040
ISSN-L : 0917-5040
Original Article
Combined Associations of Body Mass Index and Metabolic Health Status on Medical and Dental Care Days and Costs in Japanese Male Employees: A 4-Year Follow-Up Study
Kunihito NishikawaMasayuki Yamamoto
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2020 Volume 30 Issue 5 Pages 201-207


Background: The combined associations of body mass index (BMI) levels and metabolic dysfunction with medical and dental care utilizations is unclear.

Methods: A 4-year follow-up study was performed in 16,386 Japanese male employees (mean age 48.2 [standard deviation, 11.0] years) without a history of cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, or renal failure. They were classified into eight phenotypes based on four BMI levels (underweight, <18.5; normal weight, 18.5–24.9; overweight, 25.0–29.9; and obese, ≥30.0 kg/m2) and the presence or absence of ≥2 of 4 metabolic abnormalities: high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol, and high blood sugar. Based on their health insurance claims data, we compared medical and dental care days and costs among the eight different BMI/metabolic phenotypes during 2010–2013.

Results: The combinations of BMI levels and metabolic status were significantly associated with the adjusted mean and median medical outpatient days and costs and the median dental outpatient days and costs. The obese/unhealthy subjects had the highest medical outpatient days and costs, and the underweight/unhealthy subjects had the highest dental outpatient days and costs. The underweight/unhealthy subjects also had the highest medical inpatient days and hospitalization rates of CVD, and had higher medical costs compared with the obese/healthy subjects. The differences in median medical costs between healthy and unhealthy phenotypes were larger year by year across all BMI levels.

Conclusions: Identification of obesity phenotypes using both BMI levels (including the underweight level) and metabolic status may more precisely predict healthcare days and costs compared with either BMI or metabolic status alone.

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© 2019 Kunihito Nishikawa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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