Sharp rise in obesity related hospital admissions in West Sussex, data reveals

Obesity related hospital admissions in West Sussex have increased by thousands over the last three years, the latest figures show.

More patients are being admitted for knee and hip replacements due to their weight, as well as other obesity related conditions.

There were 10,046 admissions in 2016-17 where obesity was the main or secondary diagnosis.

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That’s an increase of 3,252, or 48%, from 2013-14, when NHS Digital first started compiling the data for local authorities.

Examples of obesity being the main cause for a hospital admission include weight related knee replacements, while secondary diagnoses, where obesity is a contributing factor, can be forms of cancer and heart conditions.

Caroline Cerny, Obesity Health Alliance lead, said the figures were “very concerning”.

“As weight increases, so do the chances of developing serious life threatening conditions like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer,” she explained.

“Dealing with rising levels of disease is putting an unsustainable strain on our already over stretched health service.”

Of the total admissions, in 131 obesity was directly attributable.

Nationally the most common reason for hospital visits directly caused by obesity is wear and tear of knee joints.

More women were admitted than men in 2016-17.

There were 6,381 admissions for women with obesity related health problems, compared to 3,664 for men.

Miss Cerny continued: “This data is a stark reminder of exactly why we need measures like the forthcoming Soft Drinks Levy.

“But it’s clear that this alone won’t be enough to tackle rising obesity levels so we need the government to take further action to create a healthier environment for all, starting with tougher new rules to limit junk food advertising.”

There were 105 operations for bariatric surgery in West Sussex in 2016-17, which is the most extreme weight loss treatment.

A total of 85 women underwent bariatric surgery, and 20 men.

This includes stomach stapling and gastric bypasses, and is often a last resort after dieting and exercise has failed.

Recent evidence has shown bariatric surgery is very effective and could save the NHS money in the long term.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman commented: “There’s no doubt that obesity fuels disease and puts pressure on the NHS.

“That’s why we’re working with industry to make food healthier and funding research into the root causes of obesity but we have not ruled out doing more in the future if the right results aren’t seen.”

Source data