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The study shows that a quarter of patients never recorded BMI with their GP

New research presented at this year's European Obesity Congress (ECO) in Glasgow, Scotland (April 28 – May 1) shows that a quarter of patients never had their body mass index (BMI) reported by their GP. The study is Kath Williamson and Professor Mike Lean of Human Nutrition and Dr. Amy Nimegeer of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, UK.

Providing effective and well-targeted weight management services, including those aimed at remission of type 2 diabetes, is based on the fact that BMI data is accurate and up-to-date. Data from national surveys show that 29% of Scottish people are classified as obese (BMI above 30 kg / m2). The UK Quality and Results Framework * was aimed at stimulating BMI BMI record, especially for people with obesity. Despite this need, previous research has shown significant under reporting, with only 37% of adults in the UK having their BMI recorded last year and 79% having their BMI ever recorded.

The extent of routine BMI recording and documentation in Scottish primary care has not yet been investigated. In this new study, the authors reviewed the health records of 77,591 adults aged 16 and over out of 12 general practices covering a generally socio-economically representative sample of the Scottish population. The BMI record field was searched for a BMI record with a particular interest in measurements made over the previous two years.

Researchers found that BMI was sometimes reported in 75% of individuals, while less than a third (31%) of patients had a recent BMI measurement (less than 2 years). BMI recording rates so far have also varied considerably across practices from 20% to 42%, although the team has seen a significant increase in the recording rate over the two-year review period.

For those who recorded BMI in the previous 2 years, they were divided into the following BMI categories: less than 18.5 (underweight): 2%; 18.5-24.9 (normal weight) 27%; 25-29.9 (overweight) 33%; 30-39.9 (degrees of obesity I and II) 31%; and 40+ (severe obesity) 7%. In the two highest BMI categories, data were higher than in 2017 in the Scottish Health Survey (26% and 3%, respectively), as well as in the 2017 Health Survey England (25% and 4%), suggesting both obesity and severe rates Obesity may be higher than originally anticipated.

The authors conclude: “More complete current regular BMI data is needed to more accurately plan and deliver weight management services. Insufficient information can hinder public health objectives in terms of early detection and intervention of type 2 diabetes. electronic health records with regard to their increasing use as research resources and to estimate variations between real-life prevalence rates and national health survey rates.


Declaration: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of the reports published in EurekAlert! contributing institutions or using any information through EurekAlert.

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