Premature Death Rates High In North East

11 June 2013, 06:15 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

A new website that gives local figures for causes of early deaths puts Middlesbrough in the top 5 worst areas in the country.

Longer Lives, is a new Public Health England (PHE) website which allows local people to see easily information for local authority areas across the North East on early deaths from major killers, like heart disease, stroke and cancer, and how it varies across areas, and the country.

Using a traffic-light rating system, Longer Lives ranks areas showing those above average in tackling avoidable deaths as green, while those that still have more to do, are red.

The data and website will provide local areas with information on the number of premature deaths (under the age of 75) from each of England's four biggest killers - cancer, heart disease and stroke, lung disease and liver disease.

Local areas will be able to use the data to help them understand their own position and better target efforts to improve the health of the people they serve.

The website contains a range of data that for the first time allows people to easily compare an area's mortality against areas with similar populations, incomes and levels of health.

Overall it shows that the north of England has a higher risk of early death than the south, but when comparing areas of a similar socioeconomic status it reveals a more complex picture.

Prof Paul Johnstone, Regional Director for PHE in the North of England, said:
"It's important to be clear that there are lots of reasons why discrepancies in levels of health exist.

Lots of issues like being in a job, living in safe housing, good town planning with green spaces and leisure areas and access to good education all affect how healthy people are.

One of the opportunities in moving public health from the NHS into local government, is to help tackle these wider issues. Not everything can be done locally either.

Job creation, regeneration and policies on childhood poverty, alcohol consumption, tobacco, educational attainment and promoting healthy eating are also the responsibility of national government.

Going forward, we need a joined up approach, across areas and nationally, to look at how by working together we can really turn things round." 

Dr Roberta Marshall, Director of the PHE North East Centre, said:
"Longer Lives has the potential to make a real difference to the health of each and every community in the North East, and we'll be working hard with local authorities and all our partners to bring about the changes we need.

The evidence is clear - a person's likelihood of dying prematurely from one of the top four killers varies widely between local authorities due to differences in risk factors, such as obesity, alcohol and smoking and that these are closely linked to economic deprivation."

How Areas Of The North East Compare

Local Authority Population Number Of Premature
(Out of 150)
Northumberland 316,278 3,219 66th 
North Tyneside 201,206 2,068 97th
South Tyneside 148,164 1,700  129th 
Newcastle  279,092  2,589  130th 
Gateshead 200,349  2,197 123rd 
Sunderland 275,330  3,180  132nd
County Durham  512,994  5,589  105th
Darlington  105,584  1,064  94th 
Stockton  191,824  1,877 102nd 
Hartlepool 92,088 1,034 131st 
Middlesbrough 138,368  1,564 145th 
Redcar & Cleveland  135,164  1,491  93rd 

death rates in north east