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Salud Pública de México

Print version ISSN 0036-3634


MENDEZ-HERNANDEZ, Pablo et al. A workplace physical activity program at a public university in Mexico can reduce medical costs associated with type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2012, vol.54, n.1, pp.20-27. ISSN 0036-3634.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of a workplace leisure physical activity program on healthcare expenditures for type 2 diabetes and hypertension treatment. MATERIAL AND METHODS: We assessed a workplace program's potential to reduce costs by multiplying the annual healthcare costs of patients with type 2 diabetes and hypertension by the population attributable risk fraction of non-recommended physical activity levels. Feasibility of a physical activity program was assessed among 425 employees of a public university in Mexico. RESULTS: If 400 sedentary employees engaged in a physical activity program to decrease their risk of diabetes and hypertension, the potential annual healthcare cost reduction would be 138 880 US dollars. Each dollar invested in physical activity could reduce treatment costs of both diseases by 5.3 dollars. CONCLUSIONS: This research meets the call to use health economics methods to re-appraise health priorities, and devise strategies for optimal allocation of financial resources in the health sector.

Keywords : physical activity; health care costs; health expenditures; type 2 diabetes mellitus; hypertension; Mexico.

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