The economic burden of cancer attributable to obesity in Korea: A population-based cohort study

Joo Eun Lee, Chung Mo Nam, Sang Gyu Lee, Sohee Park, Tae Hyun Kim, Eun Cheol Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Cancer is a major cause of the burden of disease, and obesity is widely recognised one of the most important modifiable risk factor of cancer. Considering the economic impact of obesity and cancer, it is necessary to measure the economic burden of cancer attributable to excess body mass index (BMI). Methods: This study used medical check-up sample cohort data of National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) claims and during 2002–2015. To estimate the costs (direct and indirect) according to obesity-related cancer sites, we performed a Cox proportional hazard model and cost of illness (COI) methods. Results: Among male obesity-related cancer sites, the largest total costs caused by overweight or obesity were 5.5 trillion USD for liver cancer, 1.8 trillion USD for colorectal cancer and 1.6 trillion USD for kidney cancer. Among women, post-menopausal breast, liver and colorectal cancers had the largest total costs attributable to excess BMI (breast: 3.7 trillion USD, liver: 2.3 trillion USD, colorectal: 2.1 trillion USD). Conclusions: Approximately, 4.5% and 15.8% of total costs in obesity-related cancers can be reduced in men and women respectively. This study's findings highlight the importance of improved interventions, which can yield healthier lives and economic benefits beyond simply reducing cancer incidence and mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13084
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sept 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology


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