One million admissions linked to obesity in 2019/20 new data reveals
There were more than one million admission to NHS hospitals in 2019/20 where obesity was a factor, according to new figures1 published yesterday by NHS Digital.
The Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet; England, 2021 is an annual compendium of data on obesity, including hospital admissions, prescription items, obesity prevalence among adults and children as well as physical activity and diet.
The data contained in the report shows that a total of 1.02 million Finished Admission Episodes (FAEs)2 were recorded with obesity as a primary or secondary diagnosis3, an increase of 17% on 2018/194. Some of this increase may be due to improved recording.
However, the number of admissions where obesity was recorded as the main cause fell to 10,780 from 11,117 in 2018/19.
Women accounted for two-thirds (64%) of admissions where obesity was a factor.
The report revealed that there were 6,740 Finished Consultant Episodes (FCEs)5 with a primary diagnosis of obesity and a main or secondary procedure of 'Bariatric Surgery' in 2019/20. This marked a fall of 4% on 2018/19 (7,011).
In 2019/20, 80% of patients who underwent bariatric surgery were female.
In Primary Care, the number of prescribed items for obesity treatment dropped by 17% in 2020 to 294,000 items from 355,000 items in 20196.
The Net Ingredient Cost7 of prescribed drugs decreased by 16% in 2020 to £8.8m from £10.4m.
Further information signposted in the compendium taken from previously published reports includes:
- 27% of men and 29% of women were obese. Around two thirds of adults were overweight or obese, this was more prevalent among men (68%) than women (60%)8
- Children living in the most deprived areas were more than twice as likely to be obese, than those living in the least deprived areas9
- 13.3% of Reception children living in the most deprived areas were obese compared to 6.0% of those living in the least deprived areas9
- 27.5% of Year 6 children living in the most deprived areas were obese compared to 11.9% of those living in the least deprived areas9
Physical activity and diet
- 22.9% of adults were classed as inactive in 2019/2010
Read the full report
Notes for Editors
- Taken from the Hospital Episode Statistics dataset
- Finished admission episodes (FAE) is the first period of inpatient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. FAEs are counted against the year in which the admission episode finishes. Admissions do not represent the number of inpatients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year.
- A secondary diagnosis of obesity does not necessarily indicate obesity as a contributing factor for the admission but may instead indicate that obesity is a factor relevant to a patient's episode of care.
- Admissions relate to inpatients only. Some (though not all) of this increase may be due to hospitals being more likely to record obesity as a secondary diagnosis than they were previously. See the Data Quality Statement for more information.
- A finished consultant episode (FCE) is a continuous period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider.
- This prescribing data was obtained from the electronic Prescribing Analysis and Cost tool (ePACT) system, maintained by NHS Prescription Services, a division of NHS Business Services Authority.
- The NIC is the basic cost of a drug as listed in the Drug Tariff or price lists; it does not include discounts, dispensing costs, prescription charges or fees.
- This data is taken from the Health Survey for England 2019
- This data is taken from the National Child Measurement Programme 2019/20
- These figures are taken from Public Health England’s analysis of the Sport England Active Lives Survey
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