The cost of medication for the treatment of hypertension and diabetes in the morbidly obese is a significant economic healthcare burden. In the present study, we assessed the effect of gastric bypass surgery on the average annual costs for hypertension and diabetes medication.A prospective database of gastric bypass patients at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Health Care System was reviewed. The preoperative and postoperative medication requirements to treat hypertension and diabetes were identified before surgery and at 1 year postoperatively. Comparisons were made between the annual costs of the antihypertensive and diabetic medications before and after bariatric surgery using the Student paired t test.Of 106 patients who had undergone gastric bypass, 90 (85%) had either hypertension or diabetes. Of these 90 patients, 88 (98%) had hypertension and 60 (67%) had diabetes before surgery. Complete remission of hypertension occurred in 44% and remission of diabetes in 80% at 1 year after surgery. The annual cost of medications to treat hypertension was reduced by 65% at 1 year after surgery ($63.52 compared with $20.50, P < .0001). To treat diabetes, the annual medication cost was reduced by 88% at 1 year after gastric bypass surgery ($532.06 compared with $64.58, P < .0001). In the subset of patients with persistent hypertension or diabetes after surgery, the annual cost reduction for antihypertensive medications was 58% ($87.14 versus $36.82, P < .002). The annual cost reduction for diabetic medications was 69% ($1036.60 versus $322.90, P < .02).Gastric bypass surgery resulted in a significant reduction in the cost of medications to treat hypertension and diabetes in the morbidly obese at 1 year after surgery. These cost savings were also significant in the subset of patients who had persistent hypertension and diabetes after surgery.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.soard.2011.05.009
View details for Web of Science ID 000304520900005
View details for PubMedID 21723203