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North-South variation in premature deaths

September 26, 2013: People living in northern areas lose more potential years of life due to amenable conditions than those living in the south, new figures show.

*HSCIC must be credited as the source of the figures in this release

*Regional information to Area Team and CCG level available from this report

A report published today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre calculates the potential number of years of life lost when patients die from conditions that should not be fatal where there is timely and effective healthcare.3

Across England in 2012, a total of 1.1 million years of life were lost for all people registered with a GP, with an average of 2,061 years lost per 100,000 GP registered persons. This is the equivalent to just over one week of life lost for every registered person in the country.

All the geographical areas4 with a rate of fewer than 2,000 years lost per 100,000 people registered with a GP were clustered together in the south of England, with the exception of London, which has a rate of 2,017 years of life lost per 100,000 registered persons. The lowest rate was 1,738 years of life lost per 100,000 registered people in Surrey and Sussex.

With the exception of London, all the areas with a rate of more than 2,000 years of life lost per 100,000 patients are clustered together in the north. The highest rate is 2,586 years of life lost per 100,000 people registered with a GP in Greater Manchester.

Data published as part of the CCG Outcomes Indicator Set, also show that:

  • The effect of premature deaths is higher for men than for women. For every 100,000 males registered with a GP there are 2,232 years of life lost, compared to 1,891 years for women, giving a gender gap of 341 years per 100,000 people registered with a GP. This gap has reduced having been 480 in 2010 and 426 in 2011.
  • The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area with the highest rate in 2012 was NHS Bradford City CCG area with 3,215 years of life lost per 100,000 people registered with a GP. With 1,414 years of life lost per 100,000 registered persons, NHS Surrey Downs CCG area had the lowest rate.
  • The two biggest causes of years of life being lost are heart disease and cancers, making up 1.2 million and 1.0 million respectively of the 3.5 million years of life lost in the three years 2010, 2011 and 2012.

The map below6 shows the variation in the age and sex standardised rates of potential years of life lost from causes considered amenable to healthcare by NHS England Area team area in 2012.

Potential years of life lost (PYLL) from causes considered amenable to healthcare
Directly age and sex standardised rate per 100,000 population, by NHS England Area Team area, 2012.

PYLL from causes amenable to healthcare map Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

Source: Health and Social Care Information Centre

HSCIC Chair Kingsley Manning said: "This report provides an insight into premature deaths which is essential to those providing and planning health services across the country.

"It is striking to think that more than one million potential years of life were lost for people registered with GPs last year in England - the equivalent to just over one week for every single registered person in the country.

"This report makes an important contribution to understanding differences in health outcomes across the country alongside other HSCIC data, for instance on public health."

The report can be accessed at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/ccgindsep13

ENDS


Notes to editors

  1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on April 1 2013 as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB). It is England's trusted data source, delivering high quality information and IT systems to drive better patient services, care and outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 130 statistical publications annually; providing a range of specialist data services; managing informatics projects and programmes and developing and assuring national systems against appropriate.
  2. Deaths considered 'amenable' to healthcare are premature deaths that should not occur in the presence of timely and effective healthcare. Potential Years of Life Lost (PYLL) are calculated based on Office of National Statistics life expectancies. In 2012 50-54 year-old men could expect to live another 29.6 years, based on average life expectancy. So, if a 50-year-old man died in 2012 due to influenza, a condition which is considered amenable to healthcare up to the age of 75, he would be considered to have lost 29.6 years of life under the PYLL measure. Conditions and illnesses considered amenable to healthcare for those aged under 74 include heart disease, colon cancer, breast cancer, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, Tuberculosis, asthma and pressure, gastric and duodenal ulcers. More information around the construction of the indicator, can be found on the HSCIC Indicator Portal here: https://indicators.ic.nhs.uk/webview/index.jsp?v=2&submode=ddi&study=http%3A%2F%2F172.16.9.26%3A80%2Fobj%2FfStudy%2FP01559&mode=documentation&top=yes
  3. It is important to note that this indicator does not take into account socio-economic, lifestyle or other factors that could affect life expectancy.
  4. Figures have been broken down by the 25 Area Teams used by the NHS, more here: http://www.nhs.uk/servicedirectories/Pages/AreaTeamListing.aspx and are standardised for age and sex to calculate a rate of years of life lost per 100,000 of the population. Figures by area team and by Clinical Commissioning Group are available here: https://indicators.ic.nhs.uk/webview/index.jsp?v=2&submode=ddi&study=http%3A%2F%2F172.16.9.26%3A80%2Fobj%2FfStudy%2FP01559&mode=documentation&top=yes
  5. Figures over 1 million have been rounded to the nearest 100,000.
  6. This graphic can be sent separately to journalists for reproduction with a credit to the HSCIC.
  7. For media enquiries please contact the press office on 0845 257 6990 or media@hscic.gov.uk.
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