Obese hospital patients on the rise in North Devon

North Devon District Hospital North Devon District Hospital

Friday, January 3, 2014
7:30 AM

Figures obtained by the Gazette show the number of obese patients at North Devon District Hospital has more than double in two years.

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THE number of obese patients admitted to North Devon District Hospital has more than doubled in the space of two years, the Gazette can reveal.

Figures obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request revealed the amount of patients recorded as ‘obese’ has risen year-on-year since 2008.

In 2010 there were 1,119 patients admitted to the hospital with obesity referred to in their notes, compared with 2,361 recorded in 2012 – an increase of 110 per cent.

The figures are much higher than those recorded the years before, but the Northern Devon Healthcare Trust advised the big jump in statistics was based on changes in recording and coding practice.

In 2008 there were only 123 admissions with obesity recorded, and in 2009 there were 194. But in 2010 the figures jumped to 1,119 patients.

Year-on-year the figures have seen a steady rise, with a 67 per cent increase from 2010-2011, and a 25 per cent increase from 2011-2012.

This year up until the beginning of September, the hospital recorded 1,626 patients with obesity on their notes – a 31 per cent decrease on the total for last year. The figures for the rest of 2013 are not yet known.

The statistics are based on the notes of the clinician and not necessarily the patient’s BMI, so may not accurately reflect obesity levels in the area.

The latest report from the Health and Social Care Information Centre showed that nationally, obesity has increased in men from 13 per cent in 1993 to 24 per cent in 2011 and in women from 16 percent to 26 per cent.

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