Systematic review of health economic evaluations for the treatment of obesity in adults, 2009-2019

Sánchez Gómez et al.


To analyze health economic evaluations for the treatment of obesity in adults published globally between 2009-2019.


Systematic review applying Cochrane, PRISMA and CHEERS guidelines for health economics studies. The selection and information extraction protocol assured the completeness, reproducibility and methodological quality. Qualitative synthesis was carried out by means of frequency of type of economic evaluation.


We screened 4 493 articles and only 95 met the protocol criteria, most of them from the United States (n=38), mainly with cost-utility studies (n=39) and cost descriptions (n=18). People with multiple comorbidities were included, the most common of which was diabetes. The most evaluated interventions were surgical (n=53), and the most frequent outcomes were weight reduction and quality adjusted life years. The most frequent evaluation perspective was that of the third payer (n=46); most common timeline was the short term for lifestyle interventions and the long term for surgical ones.


Microeconomic studies for the treatment of obesity have increased in recent years; however, gaps remain such as the low application of non-surgical interventions, partial or cost-effectiveness evaluations, and analyses from the social perspective. These represent important aspects for evidence-based health practices and decision making relating health benefits to the costs involved.

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