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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 condition.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Gen Pract

Publication Date



Body Mass Index (BMI), Coronavirus 19 (COVID 19), Health inequalities, Hypertension, Primary Health Care, Type 2 diabetes