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The Impact of Overweight and Obesity on the Direct Medical Costs of Truck Drivers

Martin, Bradley C. PharmD, PhD; Church, Timothy S. MD, MPH, PhD; Bonnell, Ron BS; Ben-Joseph, Rami PhD; Borgstadt, Ted BS

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: February 2009 - Volume 51 - Issue 2 - p 180-184
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181965d6e
Original Articles

Objective: The primary goal of the study was to quantify health care costs of truckers across categories of normal weight, overweight, and obese.

Methods: Health care claims data from a transportation logistics company were obtained from 2004 to 2005 and were merged with body mass index measures. A robust multivariate ordinary least squares regression model was used to adjust for demographic and occupational variables.

Results: Two thousand eight hundred forty-nine truckers had a mean annual total health care cost of $1785. Unadjusted trimmed total cost for overweight subjects ($1613) and obese subjects ($1792) were significantly higher than for normal weight subjects ($1012; P < 0.05). After multivariate adjustment, obese and overweight subjects had on average, $591 (P = 0.031) and $383 (P = 0.188) higher total trimmed health care cost than normal weight subjects.

Conclusion: Both overweight and obese individuals had higher health care costs and higher prevalence of hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and hypertension than their normal weight counterparts.

From the Division of Pharmaceutical Evaluation and Policy (Dr Martin), University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Ark; Pennington Biomedical Research Center (Dr Church), Baton Rouge, La; Human Centric Software (Mr Bonnell), Minneapolis, Minn; Health Outcomes (Dr Ben-Joseph), Sanofi-Aventis, Bridgewater, NJ; and Trestle Tree (Mr Borgstadt), Springdale, Ark.

Address correspondence to: Bradley C. Martin, PharmD, PhD, Division of Pharmaceutical Evaluation and Policy, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 W. Markham Street, Slot 522, Little Rock, AR 72205; E-mail:

©2009The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine