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Poor Obese People Fail To Get Surgery

Posted Dec 09 2012 8:11am

From Your Health Journal…..”The article in this summary comes from Australia. It is stating how individuals with lower incomes have a harder times affording weight loss surgery. For many, the results of this study are obvious, as many lower income individuals cannot afford many things that higher incomes households can afford. In this particular scenario, is it better that they cannot afford this type of surgery, as you hear in many cases in may be a dangerous way to lose weight? What are your thoughts on this? The bottom line, lower income households (at least in the US) can better afford to eat the fast food specials offered on a regular basis, which also contributes to higher obesity levels. The government needs to step in and help these households eat better through education and assistance. Obesity is on the rise in many of these households, contributing to heart disease and diabetes.”

From the article…..

Obese people on low incomes are getting far less access to weight-loss surgery than people on high incomes with private health insurance, new research shows.

The finding has prompted doctors to call for more government-funded surgery as people in lower socio-economic groups are more likely to be severely obese, increasing their risk of diabetes, heart disease and premature death.

A study published in The Medical Journal of Australia on Monday found that the more money you earned, the more likely you were to access bariatric surgery including adjustable gastric banding, stomach stapling and gastric bypass.

The trend was so stark that people on a household income of more than $70,000 were five times more likely to get the procedures than people earning less than $20,000.

Researchers used data from the Sax Institute’s 45 and Up Study to analyse who was accessing bariatric surgery and where. They found that while 312 out of 49,000 people in the study had had one of the procedures, only one person had the surgery done in a public hospital and three were treated under Department of Veterans’ Affairs entitlements. The remaining 308 were operated on in private hospitals.

Dr Rosemary Korda, an author of the report from Australian National University, said the trend largely reflected systemic issues in Australia’s health system, which led to inequities.

For example, she said while bariatric surgery had been listed on the Medicare Benefits Schedule for 20 years in recognition of its cost-effectiveness, many public hospitals that were mostly funded by the states did not offer the procedures.

To read the full article….. Click here

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