Health Services Research & Development

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Thomas DD, Waring ME, Ameli O, Reisman JI, Vimalananda VG. Patient Characteristics Associated with Receipt of Prescription Weight-Management Medications Among Veterans Participating in MOVE!. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.). 2019 Jul 1; 27(7):1168-1176.
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Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Weight-management medications (WMM) are recommended for the treatment of obesity. This study examined characteristics associated with initial receipt of WMM among eligible veterans in the first year following enrollment in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) MOVE! behavioral weight-management program. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of VHA patients with obesity or overweight and obesity-related comorbidities who enrolled in MOVE! from October 2013 to September 2016 (N?=?153,939). Multivariable logistic regression models estimated predictors of having a filled prescription for WMM and for orlistat. RESULTS: A total of 1.1% of these veterans received WMM. The most common WMM included orlistat (70.4%), phentermine/topiramate (11.2%), and bupropion/naltrexone (9.7%). Female sex, higher BMI, obstructive sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, depression, lower back pain, and alcohol abuse were associated with greater odds of use of WMM, whereas age over 65 years, Hispanic ethnicity, and required co-payments were associated with lower odds. Among patients receiving WMM, older age, black race, female sex, higher BMI, cardiovascular disease, lower back pain, and congestive heart failure were associated with use of orlistat versus any other WMM. CONCLUSIONS: Of patients engaged in MOVE! in the VHA, 1.1% received WMM. WMM are underutilized among veterans. Additional research is needed to understand barriers to incorporating WMM into comprehensive obesity treatment plans.