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Weight trends amongst adults with diabetes or hypertension during the COVID-19 pandemic

Amongst adults living in England with T2D and/or hypertension, rapid pandemic weight gain was more common amongst females, younger adults, those living in more deprived areas, and those with mental health conditions.

BJGP, 2024

Paper information

Authors
Citation
Samuel M, Park RY, Eastwood SV, et al. Weight trends amongst adults with diabetes or hypertension during the COVID-19 pandemic: an observational study using OpenSAFELY. Br J Gen Pract. Published online February 8, 2024:BJGP.2023.0492. doi:10.3399/BJGP.2023.0492
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Background

COVID-19 pandemic restrictions may have influenced behaviours related to weight.

Aims

To describe patterns of weight change amongst adults living in England with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) and/or hypertension during the COVID-19 pandemic. Design and Setting With the approval of NHS England, we conducted an observational cohort study using the routinely collected health data of approximately 40% of adults living in England, accessed through the OpenSAFELY service inside TPP.

Method

We investigated clinical and sociodemographic characteristics associated with rapid weight gain (>0·5kg/m2/year) using multivariable logistic regression.

Results

We extracted data on adults with T2D (n=1,231,455, 44% female, 76% white British) or hypertension (n=3,558,405, 50% female, 84% white British). Adults with T2D lost weight overall (median δ = -0.1kg/m2/year [IQR: -0.7, 0.4]), however, rapid weight gain was common (20.7%) and associated with sex (male vs female: aOR 0.78[95%CI 0.77, 0.79]); age, older age reduced odds (e.g. 60-69-year-olds vs 18-29-year-olds: aOR 0.66[0.61, 0.71]); deprivation, (least-deprived-IMD vs most-deprived-IMD: aOR 0.87[0.85, 0.89]); white ethnicity (Black vs White: aOR 0.95[0.92, 0.98]); mental health conditions (e.g. depression: aOR 1.13 [1.12, 1.15]); and diabetes treatment (non-insulin treatment vs no pharmacological treatment: aOR 0.68[0.67, 0.69]). Adults with hypertension maintained stable weight overall (median δ = 0.0kg/m2/year [ -0.6, 0.5]), however, rapid weight gain was common (24.7%) and associated with similar characteristics as in T2D.

Conclusion

Amongst adults living in England with T2D and/or hypertension, rapid pandemic weight gain was more common amongst females, younger adults, those living in more deprived areas, and those with mental health conditions.