People in deprived areas ‘more likely to die of avoidable cause’
MALES AND females living in the most deprived areas of England were 4.5 times and 3.9 times more likely to die from an avoidable cause than those in the least deprived areas, official figures for 2016 show.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that in Wales, males and females living in the most deprived areas were 3.3 times and 3.8 times more likely to die respectively.
Releasing figures which measured socioeconomic inequalities in avoidable mortality in the two countries, it said mortality rates for respiratory diseases have increased since 2001 for those living in the most deprived areas.
The largest increases were observed in Wales, where they were 60 per cent for males and 63 per cent for females. More positively, it said mortality rates from cardiovascular diseases have significantly decreased since 2001 for those living in the most deprived areas in both countries, although the largest declines were observed in the least deprived populations, ranging from 60 per cent to 73 per cent.
Deaths are considered avoidable through good-quality healthcare or public health interventions such as vaccinations or changes to lifestyles. Since 2001, mortality rates in the most deprived areas have remained substantially higher than the least deprived areas in both England and Wales.
The ONS said that, as exposure to area deprivation increases, the risk of avoidable death grows in both countries. Melissa Bennett, of the ONS, said: “Overall avoidable mortality rates have improved over the last 16 years for both England and Wales. However, avoidable mortality rates in the most deprived areas have not improved as quickly as those in the least deprived areas. This could be because these areas have not benefited as much from improvements in mortality from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.”