Cost-Effectiveness of Surgically Induced Weight Loss for the Management of Type 2 Diabetes: Modeled Lifetime Analysis

  1. Catherine L. Keating, MPH1,2,
  2. John B. Dixon, MBBS, PHD, FRACGP1,3,
  3. Marjory L. Moodie, DRPH2,
  4. Anna Peeters, PHD1,4,
  5. Liliana Bulfone, MBA2,
  6. Dianna J. Maglianno, PHD3,4 and
  7. Paul E. O'Brien, MD, FRACS1
  1. 1Centre for Obesity Research and Education, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia;
  2. 2Health Economics Unit, Public Health Research Evaluation and Policy Cluster, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia;
  3. 3Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia;
  4. 4Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
  1. Corresponding author: Catherine Keating, catherine.keating{at}


OBJECTIVE To estimate the cost-effectiveness of surgically induced weight loss relative to conventional therapy for the management of recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes in class I/II obese patients.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS This study builds on a within-trial cost-efficacy analysis. The analysis compares the lifetime costs and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) between the two intervention groups. Intervention costs were extrapolated based on observed resource utilization during the trial. The proportion of patients in each intervention group with remission of diabetes at 2 years was the same as that observed in the trial. Health care costs for patients with type 2 diabetes and outcome variables required to derive estimates of QALYs were sourced from published literature. A health care system perspective was adopted. Costs and outcomes were discounted annually at 3%. Costs are presented in 2006 Australian dollars (AUD) (currency exchange: 1 AUD = 0.74 USD).

RESULTS The mean number of years in diabetes remission over a lifetime was 11.4 for surgical therapy patients and 2.1 for conventional therapy patients. Over the remainder of their lifetime, surgical and conventional therapy patients lived 15.7 and 14.5 discounted QALYs, respectively. The mean discounted lifetime costs were 98,900 AUD per surgical therapy patient and 101,400 AUD per conventional therapy patient. Relative to conventional therapy, surgically induced weight loss was associated with a mean health care saving of 2,400 AUD and 1.2 additional QALYs per patient.

CONCLUSIONS Surgically induced weight loss is a dominant intervention (it both saves health care costs and generates health benefits) for managing recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes in class I/II obese patients in Australia.


  • The costs of publication of this article were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. This article must therefore be hereby marked “advertisement” in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.

    • Received September 23, 2008.
    • Accepted January 8, 2009.
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  1. Diabetes Care vol. 32 no. 4 567-574
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