Depression ‘rife’ among South Yorkshire women

High blood pressure is common.
High blood pressure is common.
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Residents in South Yorkshire are happy with their lives – but more than half are overweight and two-thirds of women suffer depression or anxiety, a poll has found.

The Yorkshire Health Study quizzed more than 27,800 patients at GP surgeries in South Yorkshire, asking them questions about their lifestyle, weight, drinking habits and health problems.

The survey – run by the NHS and both Sheffield universities – found that, overall, residents in the county rated their life satisfaction as being 7.5 on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being ‘completely satisfied’.

The poll also asked people about their height and weight, and gave them tape measures to gauge their waist size.

More than 55 per cent reported being overweight or obese. Over 44 per cent were of a ‘normal weight’, more than 36 per cent were overweight, and 19 per cent were obese.

Patients also said they drank on average around eight units of alcohol per week.

But those from more affluent areas of South Yorkshire drank more than those from poorer districts.

Residents in deprived areas consumed 7.31 units per week, compared with 8.14 units for those from affluent areas.

Meanwhile the most common medical complaints affecting local people were pain, fatigue and high blood pressure.

More than 4,480 participants said they suffered from long-term pain, and just under 11 per cent said they had breathing problems.

One third of men – 36 per cent – and 65 per cent of women said they experienced long-term depression or anxiety. Those who reported having the two conditions were ‘much more likely’ to also suffer conditions such as fatigue, insomnia and diabetes.

Findings will be used by the NHS and councils to ‘assess the health needs’ of people in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster. A second questionnaire is being issued later this year.