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Increased obesity admissions among young and elderly, older fatherhood linked to behavioural problems and Hunt confirms Mid-Staffs closure

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Thursday 27 February

The Guardian reports that almost 11,000 admissions to hospital for obesity were recorded in 2012-13.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre statistics recorded 10,957 admissions to hospital with a primary diagnosis of obesity in 2012-13, compared with 11,736 over the previous 12 months and 1,275 in 2002-03. Despite the overall year-on-year fall, there was an increase in admissions among both the youngest and oldest age groups. The number of admissions among under-16s rose 12% to 556 and the number of admissions among those aged 65 and over rose 6% to 594.

Dr Aseem Malhotra, who sits on the obesity steering group of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said: ‘These figures show that the obesity epidemic is still a major public health crisis. While there may be a minor decrease from last year, they are still alarmingly high.’

‘It’s concerning that one year after the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges – which represents almost every doctor in the UK – published a list of ten recommendations on obesity, not a single one has been adopted. Until this happens, this problem is only going to get worse.’

Meanwhile the BBC writes that a wide range of disorders and problems in school-age children have been linked to delayed fatherhood in a major study involving millions of people.

Increased rates of autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, suicide attempts and substance abuse problems were all reported.

The study, in JAMA Psychiatry, suggests mutated sperm were to blame.

Comparing children of a 45-year-old dad to those of a 24-year-old father it indicated: autism was more than three times as likely; a 13-fold increased risk of ADHD; double the risk of a psychotic disorder; 25 times more likely to have bipolar disorder; two and a half times more likely to have suicidal behaviour or problems with drugs; and lower scores at school

Finally the Daily Mail confirms health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s announcement that scandal-hit Mid-Staffs NHS Trust to be broken up.

Mr Hunt told MPs that local people ‘suffered too much for too long under a system which ignored appalling failures of care in their local hospital’.

He said the time had come to plans to dissolve the trust and move key services to neighbouring hospitals.

Overall control of Stafford Hospital will now to go to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire while Cannock Hospital will be run by Royal Wolverhampton Trust.

Paediatric assessment will still take place at Stafford Hospital by specialist staff, in conjunction with A&E, and critical patients will be allowed to stay overnight in Stafford as long as the appropriate staff are on duty.

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