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Medical fees W5.8m higher for obese men

The obese and smokers are likely to die before their peers, a state-run institute said Tuesday, stressing the importance of staying fit and smoke-free.

The Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs said Tuesday that overweight people are likely to die 2.6 years before those of healthy weight, while smokers die 5.6 years earlier on average than non-smokers, based on analysis of the National Health Insurance Corporation report.

The comparison between weight brackets was made with 1,000 people with a body mass index over 30; 1,000 with BMI between 25 and 30; and 1,000 with BMI under 25 ― who had also had a stroke. While stroke sufferers of a healthy weight could live 42.01 years more, lightly overweight people had 40.71 years ahead and obese people had less than 39.35 years left to live, on average.

Medical fees also differed according to weight: Obese men have to pay up to 5.8 million won more than their healthy-weight peers.

In the case of smoking, the researchers studied non-smokers, smoke-quitters and smokers. After stroke prevalence, the smokers were likely to live 37 years more, while non-smokers lived up to 43.05 years and quitters could live 41.71 years.

The treatment cost for strokes was also higher among smokers, by 11 million won.

By Bae Ji-sook (baejisook@heraldcorp.com)
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