TUESDAY, Aug. 30, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with type 2 diabetes, maintaining body weight is associated with a reduction in medical care costs, while weight gain is associated with variable cost increases depending on the hemoglobin A1C level, according to a study published online Aug. 25 in Diabetes Care.
Gregory A. Nichols, Ph.D., from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon, and colleagues examined the four-year economic impact of maintaining body weight versus gaining weight among 8,154 patients with type 2 diabetes. Weight change was calculated as the difference between the first body weight measure in 2010 and the last measure in 2013.
The researchers found that regardless of A1C, patients who maintained weight within 5 percent of baseline experienced a reduction in costs of about $400. An increase in costs of $1,473 was seen for patients who gained ≥5 percent of baseline weight and had mean A1C of ≥7 percent. A more modest increase in costs ($387) was seen for those who gained >5 percent of their baseline weight and had mean A1C <7 percent.
"Patients who maintained weight within 5 percent of baseline had costs that were ~5 percent lower than baseline," the authors write. "Avoidance of weight gain may reduce costs in the long-term."
Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry, including AstraZeneca, which funded the study.