eCite Digital Repository

Population estimates and characteristics of Australians potentially eligible for bariatric surgery: findings from the 201113 Australian Health Survey


Sharman, MJ and Breslin, MC and Kuzminov, A and Palmer, AJ and Blizzard, L and Hensher, M and Venn, AJ, Population estimates and characteristics of Australians potentially eligible for bariatric surgery: findings from the 2011-13 Australian Health Survey, Australian Health Review pp. 1-9. ISSN 0156-5788 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

AHHA 2017 CSIRO 1996-2017

DOI: doi:10.1071/AH16255


Objective: The aim of the present study was to determine the potential demand for publicly and privately funded bariatric surgery in Australia.

Methods: Nationally representative data from the 2011-13 Australian Health Survey were used to estimate the numbers and characteristics of Australians meeting specific eligibility criteria as recommended in National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity.

Results: Of the 3352037 adult Australians (aged 18-65 years) estimated to be obese in 2011-13, 882441 (26.3%; 95% confidence interval (CI) 23.0-29.6) were potentially eligible for bariatric surgery (accounting for 6.2% (95% CI 5.4-7.1) of the adult population aged 18-65 years (n = 14122020)). Of these, 396856 (45.0%; 95% CI 40.4-49.5) had Class 3 obesity (body mass index (BMI) ≥40kgm-2), 470945 (53.4%; 95% CI 49.0-57.7) had Class 2 obesity (BMI 35-39.9kgm-2) with obesity-related comorbidities or risk factors and 14640 (1.7%; 95% CI 0.6-2.7) had Class 1 obesity (BMI 30-34.9kgm-2) with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes and increased cardiovascular risk; 458869 (52.0%; 95% CI 46.4-57.6) were female, 404594 (45.8%; 95% CI 37.3-54.4) had no private health insurance and 309983 (35.1%; 95% CI 28.8-41.4) resided outside a major city.

Conclusion: Even if only 5% of Australian adults estimated to be eligible for bariatric surgery sought this intervention, the demand, particularly in the public health system and outside major cities, would far outstrip current capacity. Better guidance on patient prioritisation and greater resourcing of public surgery are needed.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:obesity, bariatric
Research Division:Medical and Health Sciences
Research Group:Public Health and Health Services
Research Field:Epidemiology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health)
Objective Field:Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
Author:Sharman, MJ (Mrs Melanie Sharman)
Author:Breslin, MC (Dr Monique Breslin)
Author:Kuzminov, A (Mr Alexandr Kuzminov)
Author:Palmer, AJ (Professor Andrew Palmer)
Author:Blizzard, L (Professor Leigh Blizzard)
Author:Hensher, M (Mr Martin Hensher)
Author:Venn, AJ (Professor Alison Venn)
ID Code:120157
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2017-08-11
Last Modified:2018-06-12

Repository Staff Only: item control page