Childhood obesity trends from primary care electronic health records in England between 1994 and 2013: population-based cohort study
SourceArchives of Disease in Childhood, 100, 3, (2015), pp. 214-9
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
Archives of Disease in Childhood
SubjectRadboudumc 15: Urological cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to use primary care electronic health records to evaluate the prevalence of overweight and obesity in 2-15-year-old children in England and compare trends over the last two decades. DESIGN: Cohort study of primary care electronic health records. SETTING: 375 general practices in England that contribute to the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink. PATIENTS: Individual participants were sampled if they were aged between 2 and 15 years during the period 1994-2013 and had one or more records of body mass index (BMI). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Prevalence of overweight (including obesity) was defined as a BMI equal to or greater than the 85th centile of the 1990 UK reference population. RESULTS: Data were analysed for 370 544 children with 507 483 BMI records. From 1994 to 2003, the odds of overweight and obesity increased by 8.1% per year (95% CI 7.2% to 8.9%) compared with 0.4% (-0.2% to 1.1%) from 2004 to 2013. Trends were similar for boys and girls, but differed by age groups, with prevalence stabilising in 2004 to 2013 in the younger (2-10 year) but not older (11-15 year) age group, where rates continued to increase. CONCLUSIONS: Primary care electronic health records in England may provide a valuable resource for monitoring obesity trends. More than a third of UK children are overweight or obese, but the prevalence of overweight and obesity may have stabilised between 2004 and 2013.
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