A quarter of Scottish patients have never had their BMI recorded by a general practitioner (GP), according to research presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity in Glasgow over the weekend.
The study, conducted by the University of Glasgow, analysed electronic health records of adults ≥16 years (n=77,591) from 12 GP practices, representing a broadly socio-economically representative sample of the Scottish population.
The data showed that 75 per cent of individuals had BMI ever recorded. Less than a third (31%) of patients had a BMI measurement recorded within the last two years. Up-to-date BMI recording rates varied significantly across practices from 20 to 42 per cent, but there was a marked increase in recording rates over the two-year review period.
For those with a BMI recording in the previous two years, 2 per cent had BMI 2 (underweight), 27 per cent had BMI 25-29.9 kg/m2 (overweight). Almost a third had BMI of 30-39.9 kg/m2 (obesity grades I and II) and 7 per cent had BMI of 40+ kg/m2 (severe obesity).
The authors say more complete current routine BMI data are required for accurate planning and provision of weight management services. They add that under-reporting may hinder stated public health aims of early detection and intervention of type 2 diabetes.