Sunderland has the highest rate of hospital admissions in the country as a result of obesity, new figures have revealed.
Statistics issued by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show the city had the highest rate of hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of obesity, and the highest rate of inpatient bariatric surgery procedures, which help with weight loss.
According to the centre’s Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet report, in Sunderland there were 375 admissions, which works out at 135 people per 100,000 of the population who attended hospital because of obesity in 2014/2015.
The total number of hospital admissions across the country with a primary diagnosis of obesity was 9,130.
The majority of these were for female patients, with a total of 73% or 6,630 women admitted, compared to 2,500 for men.
Across the region figures also remained high for admissions, with 152 admissions in South Tyneside, which equates to 102 admissions per 100,000.
In Gateshead, there were 138 admissions – 69 admissions per 100,000 of the population. In Newcastle, there were 80 admissions, which works out as 28 admissions per 100,000 of the population.
In Durham, there were 507 admissions, which works out as 98 admissions per 100,000.
In Sunderland, the number of people having bariatric surgery procedures to help with weight loss, such as gastric bands, was 64 per 100,000 of the population, between that same period. This type of surgery also includes stomach stapling, gastric bypasses and sleeve gastrectomy.
This type of surgery is used in the treatment of obesity for people with a BMI above 40, or for those with a BMI between 35 and 40, who have health problems such as Type 2 diabetes or heart disease.
Nationally, during 2014 to 2015, 6,030 bariatric surgery procedures were recorded, with 4,590 procedures carried out on women, compared to 1,440 for men.
This shows an increase in the amount of people who are classed as obese.
Overall, the prevalence of obesity has increased from 15% in 1993, to 26% in 2014.
Morbid obesity, one of the conditions for which bariatric surgery may be considered, has tripled since 1993 from 1% to 3%.
In 2014, almost 4% of women were considered morbidly obese compared to 2% of men. The figures come from data from the HSCIC’s Hospital Episode Statistics, as well as data from the Prescribing Unit at the HSCIC, on prescription items dispensed for treatment of obesity.