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Estimating the Amount of Overweight and Obesity Related Health-Care Use in the Republic of Ireland Using SLÁN Data

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  • EDEL DOHERTY

    (National University of Ireland, Galway)

  • ANNE DEE

    (Health Services Executive-West, Limerick)

  • CIARAN O’NEILL

    (National University of Ireland, Galway)

Abstract

In Ireland, over half the adult population are now considered to be overweight or obese. This has implications for individuals in terms of their health as well as for the health service in terms of care utilisation. Using SLÁN (2007) data we estimate the impact on use of general practitioner (GP) services, hospital inpatient and hospital day case services of overweight and obesity. Our modelling approach accommodates potential unobserved heterogeneity associated with utilisation of primary and secondary health care. Controlling for a range of sociodemographic variables, we find that overweight and obesity are significant predictors of GP utilisation and obesity is a significant predictor of inpatient episodes. Translating increased utilisation into costs, primary health-care costs are estimated conservatively to be approximately €17 million higher and secondary health-care costs approximately €24 million higher in the Republic of Ireland as a result of overweight and obesity in adults. Given trends, overweight and obesity are likely to present an increasing challenge to the health service in the future that warrant further investigation.

Suggested Citation

  • Edel Doherty & Anne Dee & Ciaran O’Neill, 2012. "Estimating the Amount of Overweight and Obesity Related Health-Care Use in the Republic of Ireland Using SLÁN Data," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 43(2), pages 227-250.
  • Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:43:y:2012:i:2:p:227-250
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    File URL: http://www.esr.ie/vol43_2/02%20Doherty%20article_ESRI%20Vol%2043-2.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Olomola, Aderbigbe & Gyimah-Brempong, Kwabena, 2014. "Loan demand and rationing among small-scale farmers in Nigeria:," IFPRI discussion papers 1403, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Olomola, Aderbigbe, 2014. "Business operations of agrodealers and their participation in the loan market in Nigeria:," IFPRI discussion papers 1400, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Walsh, Brendan & Cullinan, John, 2015. "Decomposing socioeconomic inequalities in childhood obesity: Evidence from Ireland," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 16(C), pages 60-72.
    4. Edel Doherty & Michelle Queally & Ciaran O’Neill, 2015. "An examination of the relationships between service use and alternative measures of obesity among community-dwelling adults in Ireland," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 16(9), pages 951-956, December.

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