Suffolk/Essex: Premature death numbers revealed in league table

Premature mortality rates

Premature mortality rates - Credit: PA

More than 17,000 people from Essex and Suffolk died prematurely in a two year period, a new league table of mortality has revealed.

Local authorities will encourage healthier lifestyles

Local authorities will encourage healthier lifestyles - Credit: PA

Although East Anglia holds up well in Public Health England’s new Longer Lives website, which compares the number of premature death county-for county, local authority leaders have said they are determined to drive down the figures further by introducing more preventative measures.

Obesity one of the issues to be tackled

Obesity one of the issues to be tackled - Credit: Archant

According to statistics published by the executive agency, Suffolk County Council is ranked 17th out of 150 with a total premature death tally of 5,903 between 2009-2011 – equating to 225 premature deaths per 100,000 of the population.

Neighbouring Essex County Council was given a league position of 35th, four places above Norfolk, with the number of premature deaths for the region coming in at 11,550 – 238 deaths per 100,000 between 2009 and 2011.

Dr Alan Murray, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for health, said: “It’s very encouraging to see Suffolk’s premature death rating so low, there is certainly a great deal of work going on to keep these figures down through more preventative action and encouraging healthy lifestyles. However we must ensure we do not become complacent and we continue the excellent work being done.”


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Dr Murray said work was ongoing to tackle deprivation in Lowestoft, Ipswich, Haverhill and in Mildenhall and added initiatives were also in place to cut child obesity and increase breastfeeding rates – all of which can have implications for later in life.

He added: “We are also trying to raise awareness of cancer, cancer screening, those sorts of things.”

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Dr Ann Naylor, Essex County Council cabinet member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “Essex ranks among the best local authorities for having a lower premature mortality rate from the five major killers, as illustrated on the Longer Lives website.

“In line with the national trend, Essex has witnessed a large drop in premature mortality over the last decade from 315 people per 100,000 to 238 people per 100,000. However there is no cause for complacency.”

Dr Naylor, who said she was concerned by misuse of alcohol in the county added that there is also an “unacceptable inequality” in life expectancy between both geographically deprived and affluent areas and between people in certain vulnerable groups and the rest of the population.

“We have much work to do in the future working with a range of local partners and communities themselves to address these broader health determinates, unhealthy lifestyles that continue and ensuring clinical risk factors are identified and reduced.”

The statistics were supplied by the Office of National Statistics and will be continuously updated with new data. Their publication follows the move in April this year to hand responsibility for Public Health to local authorities.

A spokesman for the executive agency initiative, said: “When it comes to health, every community faces its own challenges. PHE has been created to help communities decide on steps they can take to improve their collective health. The Longer Lives Project gives them the tools to help do this.”

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