In cross-sectional studies of SOS patients it was shown that independent of age and gender, sick leave was twice as high and disability pensions twice as frequent as in the general Swedish population (32-34). The annual extra indirect costs (sick leave plus disability pension) attributable to obesity were estimated to be 6 billion SEK, or 1 million US dollars per 10000 inhabitants per year.
The number of lost days due to sick leave and disability pension the year before inclusion into the SOS intervention was almost identical in the surgically treated group and the obese control group (104 and 107 days, respectively, Figure 35.13) (35). The year after inclusion the number of lost days were higher in the surgically treated group but over years 2 to 4 after inclusion the lost days were lower in the surgically treated group (figure 35.13). This was particularly evident in those individuals above median age (46.7 years) (not shown) (35).
The direct costs attributable to obesity and their changes after weight loss are currently being examined in the SOS study. So far we know that weight loss is associated with decreased costs for medication for diabetes and cardiovascular disease (36).
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