This part focuses on hospital admissions (inpatient settings only) related to being obese. Data is taken from NHS Digital's Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) database which contains details of all admissions at NHS hospitals in England.
The association between obesity and increased risk of many serious diseases and mortality is well documented and has led to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) developing guidelines on identifying and treating obesity.
Four measures are presented for the number of obesity-related hospital admissions:
1. NHS hospital finished admission episodes (FAEs) with a primary diagnosis of obesity – referred to as admissions directly attributable to obesity. A large proportion of these admissions involve a bariatric surgery procedure (see measure 3).
2. NHS hospital finished admission episodes with a primary or secondary diagnosis of obesity - referred to as admissions where obesity was a factor. 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.
3. NHS hospital finished consultant episodes (FCEs) with a primary diagnosis of obesity, and a primary or secondary procedure for bariatric surgery - referred to as obesity-related bariatric surgery.
4. NHS hospital finished consultant episodes (FCEs) with a primary diagnosis of obesity, and a primary or secondary procedure for bariatric surgery, but excluding maintenance, revisional, and removal procedures - referred to as obesity-related primary bariatric surgery. In this measure most patients would only be counted once (for their initial procedure). Though not commented on within the report, it is available in data table 4.1.
An FAE is the first period of inpatient care under one consultant within one provider. An FCE is a continuous period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. Please note that admissions do not represent the number of in-patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year.
Bariatric surgery encompasses a group of procedures that can be performed to facilitate weight loss, although these procedures can also be performed for other conditions. It includes stomach stapling, gastric bypasses and sleeve gastrectomy. In general, such surgery is used in the treatment of obesity for people with a BMI above 40, or those with a BMI between 35 and 40 who have health problems such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease.