, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 400-405
Date: 31 Mar 2007

Obesity Surgery in England: An Examination of the Health Episode Statistics 1996–2005

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The authors examined the uptake of obesity surgery across England.


Data were analyzed from the Hospital Episode Statistics covering all 9 goverment office regions with a total population of 49.1 million. The data analyzed covered 9 years 1996/97 – 2004/05.


1,465 records were identified with a primary diagnostic code for obesityand an operation code for obesity surgery. The surgery was performed mostly in women (male to female ratio of 1:5), who were predominantly mid-aged (average 40.4 years ± SD 9.00), the majority of whom reside in local authority districts ranked within the lowest two deprivation quintiles. The availability of obesity surgery varied considerably across the 9 different regions of England, although the number of operations increased nationally over time.


Access to this intervention is highly variable and does not appear to reflect estimated regional differences in morbid obesity. This specialist service may benefit from more effective national organization, to ensure appropriate capacity and eliminate inequalities in service delivery.