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Correction to Sun article about hospital admissions for under 20s due to obesity

12 April 2016: This correction is in response to figures used in The Sun which state that 8424 young people (aged under 20) were admitted to hospital in 2014/15 because of weight-related issues or obesity.

This interpretation of Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) data is incorrect.

The information provided by the HSCIC shows that there were 676 admissions to hospital for young people aged under 20, in 2014/15, where obesity was the primary reason for the admission. This is reflected by the primary diagnosis figure.

The remaining 7,748 admissions were secondary diagnoses. This reflects information that is relevant to a patient's care but the primary and secondary diagnoses cannot explicitly be linked. The fact that a patient is obese may be considered with regard to their care options, but the primary reason they are in hospital could be completely unrelated.

We understand the incorrect figure for 2014/15 referred to in the news article has been calculated by adding together the primary and secondary diagnoses figures. Therefore, it is incorrect to say that 8424 young people were admitted to hospital for weight related issues, because we cannot guarantee their obesity is related to the reason they are in hospital.

In addition to this, the number of admissions is not an accurate reflection of the number of people treated, as the same person could have been admitted on more than one occasion within a year.


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