Health Team

Study: Obese, overweight receive quality care

Posted April 6, 2010 5:40 p.m. EDT
Updated April 6, 2010 6:29 p.m. EDT

In reviewing common outpatient procedures for Medicare patients at VA medical facilities, researchers found no evidence of a lower quality of care for the obese or overweight.

“We found that these groups often receive slightly better care on several of our measures,” said Dr. Virginia Chang, of the University of Pennsylvania.

Chang’s study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers found that 74 percent of obese diabetic Medicare patients had their blood glucose monitored in a timely fashion, compared to 62 percent for normal weight patients, Chang said.

The study also found similar percentages for diabetic patients receiving timely cholesterol checks.

“Those numbers were 72 percent for obese patients but only 65 percent for normal weight patients. So the obese patients were more likely to receive recommended care,” Chang said.

Researchers say these findings my help to understand why the risk of death associated with obesity is not as high as it used to be.

“I think our results suggest that physicians might be a little bit more aggressive in modifying risk factors for obese patients,” Chang said.

This study looked at a slightly older group of patients. The quality of care experienced by young overweight or obese patients may differ.