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Preventable mortality is related to area deprivation, finds ONS

New information from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals that avoidable, amenable and preventable mortality is strongly related to area deprivation in England and in Wales.

In England in 2015 there were 16,686 deaths from avoidable causes in the most deprived areas whereas there were less than half that number (7,247 deaths) in the least deprived areas.

In the most deprived areas of Wales there were 1,054 deaths from avoidable causes in 2015, compared with 509 deaths in the least deprived areas.

The largest relative inequality in avoidable mortality was for deaths from respiratory diseases which were 4.8 times (males) and 7.7 times (females) more likely in the most deprived populations compared with the least deprived.

Dr Annie Campbell, Health Analysis and Life Events, ONS, said: “The link between avoidable mortality and deprivation is strongest for avoidable respiratory diseases.

“The most deprived populations in England and Wales are up to 7.7 times more likely to die from an avoidable respiratory disease than the least deprived. Smoking is the most likely contributory factor to these differences.”

Absolute and relative inequalities in avoidable mortality between those living in the most and least deprived areas were sizeable and highly significant, but the excess was larger for males than females in all cases.

The largest absolute difference in avoidable mortality between the most and least deprived deciles was from cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Dr Annie Campbell added: “it is in the cases of cardiovascular disease and cancer where the inequalities in mortality seen between more and less deprived areas can be most reduced overall. Narrowing the gaps in mortality for these diseases will have benefits for the largest number of people.”

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