Impacts of bariatric surgery in health outcomes and health care costs in Brazil: Interrupted time series analysis of multi-panel data
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Background: The increasing burden of obesity generates significant socioeconomic impacts for individuals, populations, and national health systems worldwide. The literature on impacts and cost-effectiveness of obesity-related interventions for prevention and treatment of moderate to severe obesity indicate that bariatric surgery presents high costs associated with high effectiveness in improving health status referring to certain outcomes; however, there is a lack of robust evidence at an individual-level estimation of its impacts on multiple health outcomes related to obesity comorbidities. Methods: The study encompasses a single-centre retrospective longitudinal analysis of patient-level data using micro-costing technique to estimate direct health care costs with cost-effectiveness for multiple health outcomes pre-and post-bariatric surgery. Data from 114 patients who had bariatric surgery at the Hospital of Clinics of the University of Sao Paulo during 2018 were investigated through interrupted time-series analysis with generalised estimating equations and marginal effects, including information on patients' characteristics, lifestyle, anthropometric measures, hemodynamic measures, biochemical exams, and utilisation of health care resources during screening (180 days before) and follow-up (180 days after) of bariatric surgery. Results: The preliminary statistical analysis showed that health outcomes presented improvement, except cholesterol and VLDL, and overall direct health care costs increased after the intervention. However, interrupted time series analysis showed that the rise in health care costs is attributable to the high cost of bariatric surgery, followed by a statistically significant decrease in post-intervention health care costs. Changes in health outcomes were also statistically significant in general, except in cholesterol and LDL, leading to significant improvements in patients' health status after the intervention. Conclusions: Trends multiple health outcomes showed statistically significant improvements in patients' health status post-intervention compared to trends pre-intervention, resulting in reduced direct health care costs and the burden of obesity.