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Obesity costing NHS in Bucks £63.8 million
DISEASES related to obesity are costing the NHS in Bucks £63.8 million, a study has shown.
The research also warns that physical inactivity directly costs healthcare services in Buckinghamshire over £6.3 million per year.
Four in five adults in Bucks do not exercise enough, with more than a quarter not doing any at all, the report said.
The assessment of the health and well being of the county's residents also estimates that more than 60 per cent are overweight or obese, with 21 per cent defined as the latter.
Obesity has been identified as one of the most important preventable challenges to health, second only to smoking.
Eighty per cent of Bucks men and women do not take part in enough physical activity to meet the levels recommended by the Chief Medical Officer - that is 150 minutes per week - said the report. The figure is measured as 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity at least five times a week.
And 27 per cent are not taking part in any sport or active recreation during an average week.
The findings are part of the newly published Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, with research compiled by Bucks County Council, the NHS and the district councils.
Lesley Manning, Public Health Practitioner, for Buckinghamshire County Council, who authored the report, wrote: "The direct cost of physical inactivity to Buckinghamshire PCT alone is estimated to be £6.4 million per year with the largest cost (£3.6 million) attributable to the UK’s single biggest killer disease - coronary heart disease.
"The number of people killed by diseases attributable to inactivity is similar to the number killed by smoking. Increasing physical activity levels has been shown to reduce the risk of an early death by 20 - 30 per cent.
"Being active benefits both physical health and mental wellbeing. It prevents the development of many conditions including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and hip fracture by up to 35 per cent, osteoarthritis by 80 per cent, some cancers by 20-30 per cent, as well as reducing the risk of depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and helping to maintain a healthy weight."
The study reported that physical activity levels in Bucks adults remain unchanged since a 2005 survey.
It noted a number of services or schemes set up in Bucks to improve exercise take up, including Simply Walk, which had 1,370 registered walkers in 2012 and Reactivate Bucks, a campaign and web and phone-based database of activity opportunities and facilitated projects to encourage activity in Buckinghamshire.
Over 200,000 contacts and 20,000 new people have undertaken a return to sport or ‘give it a go’ taster course of six to eight weeks since January 2010.
Other areas of health in the report
- Approximately 65,000 smokers aged 18 or above in Bucks
- That is 16 per cent of the population, which is lower than the England average of 21 per cent.
- Prevalence slightly higher in Wycombe District Council area than others - 17 per cent
- In 2011/12, people from routine and manual occupations made up 17 per cent of people who successfully quit smoking with NHS smoking cessation support services in Buckinghamshire, compared to 31 per cent of successful quitters from managerial and professional occupations.
- In Buckinghamshire the picture, whilst still a matter for concern, is better than the national one, the report said.
-But total alcohol-related admissions in Buckinghamshire were estimated to have cost the NHS £25.8m in 2010/11 including estimates for A&E, inpatient and outpatient activity.
- The bulk of costs was for inpatient admissions. It was estimated that the cost of these admissions was about £15.5million.
- Of these admissions 1,024 (14 per cent) were wholly attributable to alcohol at an estimated cost of £2.1m and 6,293 (86 per cent) were partly attributable to alcohol, at an estimated cost £13.4m.
-Buckinghamshire has lower than the national average of opiate and crack users with a rate of 4.7 per 1,000 compared to a national rate of 8.9.
- There is a lower injecting rate at 0.9 per 1000 (national 3.0).
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