Eating disorder hospital admissions rise by 16 per cent in a year
- Children and young people account for most admissions
*Regional information TO SHA LEVEL ONLY available on request from this report
Hospitals recorded 2,290 eating disorder admissions in the 12 months to June 2012; a 16 per cent rise on the previous 12 month period, provisional figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show.
Children and teenagers aged 10 to 19 accounted for more than half of admissions in the latest 12 month period (55 per cent of the total, or 1,250); up from 49 per cent (960) in the previous 12 months (July 2010 to June 2011).
The biggest number of admissions were for 15-year-old girls (220, or nearly 10 per cent of all such admissions), who also accounted for the most admissions in the previous 12 months (190, or just over nine per cent of all such admissions).
Some patients may be counted more than once within these figures because they have been admitted more than once in the same reporting period.
Today’s report also shows that provisionally, in the 12 months to June 2012:
- Eating disorder admissions increased on the previous 12 month period by a bigger percentage than admissions overall (16 per cent, compared to a one per cent rise overall from 14.9 million to 15.1 million).
- Women accounted for 91 per cent (2,080) of all eating disorder admissions, compared to 88 per cent (1,740) in the previous 12 months.
- Anorexia accounted for 74 per cent (1,700) of all eating disorder admissions, while bulimia accounted for seven per cent (150). The remaining 19 per cent (440) were for “other eating disorders” such as overeating or vomiting associated with other psychological disturbances.
- Of eating disorder admissions, 26 per cent (500) were admitted and discharged on the same day, while five per cent (90) spent at least six months as an inpatient. Eating disorder admissions had longer hospital stays on average compared to admissions overall.
- 92 per cent (2,100) of eating disorder admissions involved no procedure during the patient’s stay9, compared to 36 per cent of overall admissions.
- Regionally, the highest number of eating disorder admissions by population size occurred in the North East at 5.8 per 100,000 (150 admissions). However, by total admissions, the highest number occurred in London at 440 (5.6 per 100,000).
HSCIC chief executive Tim Straughan said: “It might be assumed that a person suffering with an eating disorder is cared for in the community through primary services rather than in hospital; with activity in secondary care only part of a bigger picture.
“However our figures do suggest that hospitals in England are admitting a greater number of eating disorder cases than in previous years.
“The data points to a relatively small but nevertheless significant rise in child admissions for the treatment of an eating disorder. This information will be of interest and concern to health professionals and the public alike.”
Today’s report can be accessed at: www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/provisionalmonthlyhes
Notes to editors
- HSCIC was previously known as the NHS Information Centre. It is England’s authoritative, independent source of health and social care information. It works with a wide range of health and social care providers nationwide to provide the facts and figures that help the NHS and social services run effectively. Its role is to collect data, analyse it and convert it into useful information which helps providers improve their services and supports academics, researchers, regulators and policymakers in their work. The HSCIC also produces a wide range of statistical publications each year across a number of areas including: primary care, health and lifestyles, screening, hospital care, population and geography, social care and workforce and pay statistics.
- Today’s press release focuses on a special topic which is part of a wider monthly publication of all provisional inpatient, outpatient and A&E activity in NHS hospitals in England. The publication includes provisional monthly data for April 2011 to June 2012 and final data for all months to March 2011.
- Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) are compiled from data sent by more than 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts (PCTs) in England and from some independent sector organisations for activity commissioned by the English NHS. The HSCIC liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain. Figures refer to recorded admissions and are reliant upon the accurate and complete recording of cause of hospital admission.
- HES provisional monthly data can be used for high level, aggregate analysis demonstrating approximate trends in activity. Lower level analysis should be approached with caution as not all activity will be correctly processed until the final annual data is produced. HES figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. Changes to the figures over time need to be interpreted in the context of improvements in data quality and coverage of data recorded (particularly in earlier years), improvements in coverage of independent sector activity (particularly from 2006-07) and changes in NHS practice. For example, apparent reductions in activity may be due to a number of procedures which may now be undertaken in outpatient settings and so no longer included in admitted patient HES data.
- Eating disorders are characterised by an abnormal attitude towards food that causes someone to change their eating habits and behaviour. The most common eating disorders are: anorexia nervosa, when someone tries to keep their weight as low as possible, for example by starving themselves or exercising excessively; bulimia, when someone tries to control their weight by binge eating and then deliberately being sick or using laxatives (medication to help empty their bowels); binge eating, when someone feels compelled to overeat Source: NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk
- A finished admission episode (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.
- The primary diagnosis is the first of up to 20 (14 from 2002-03 to 2006-07 and 7 prior to 2002-03) diagnosis fields in the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data set and provides the main reason why the patient was admitted to hospital.
- The codes used within this press release are available under the primary diagnosis section (ICD-10) at www.hesonline.nhs.uk and are:Anorexia F50.0 Anorexia nervosa F50.1 Atypical anorexia nervosa Bulimia F50.2 Bulimia nervosa F50.3 Atypical bulimia nervosa Other eating disorders F50.4 Overeating associated with other psychological disturbances F50.5 Vomiting associated with other psychological disturbances F50.8 Other eating disorders F50.9 Eating disorder, unspecified
- The main procedure is the first recorded procedure or intervention in each episode, usually the most resource intensive procedure or intervention performed during the episode. Admissions where no procedure was recorded may relate to a patient being admitted for other forms of intervention, such as observation.
- The length of stay in hospital is the difference in days between the admission date and discharge date (duration of spell), where both dates are given.
- Please note that these data should not be described as a count of people as the same person may have been admitted or treated on more than one occasion.
- Rates per 100,000 have been calculated using the total population within the specified categories - e.g. for each gender and age – taken from Office of National Statistics population estimates for mid-2010. Regions in this press release relate to Strategic Health Authority (SHA) areas containing the patient’s normal home address. This does not necessarily reflect where the patient was treated as they may have travelled to another SHA/PCT for treatment.
- Figures in this press release have been rounded to the nearest 10.
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