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Obesity related hospital admissions soar

Obesity related hospital admission soar Up more than 30%

The number of people being admitted to hospital with obesity related conditions has increased dramatically in the last year according to the NHS Information Centre.

From an already high 8,000 cases in 2008/9, the figure jumped to nearly 10,600 for 2009/2010 - an increase of more than 30% in one year.

And there was a rise of 13% in the number of prescription items dispensed in England to combat obesity - from 1.28m in 2008 to 1.45m in 2009.

Surgery to treat obesity, such as gastric band implants, also underwent a surge of 70%, from 4,200 to 7,200. Of these, around 1,400 were for maintenance of an existing gastric band. 80% of these procedures were on women, with the East Midlands and London having the highest rates.

Procedures covered in these figures include stomach stapling, gastric bypasses and sleeve gastrectomy. While some of these procedures may be used to treat conditions not related to obesity, in the vast majority of cases obesity is the reason behind the need for the surgery.

But in a glimmer of hope, the study suggests that the upward trend in obesity rates may be flattening, with the percentage of women classified as obese actually falling from 25% to 24%.

In men the rate also fell from 24% to 22%. But the authors warn that these reductions are not yet statistically significant and may be revised in future studies.

Commenting on the results, NHS Information Centre chief executive Tim Straughan said: "This report shows the number of hospital admissions, procedures and prescriptions related to obesity are continuing to increase in England."

This article was published on Fri 25 February 2011



Image © Timothy Large iStockPhoto


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