Fewer people die early in Warwickshire than in most parts of the country, according to figures published this week.
It ranks 41st out of 150 local authorities, with 245 premature deaths per 100,000 people between 2009 and 2011. The figure equates to 4,667 deaths.
But it’s not all good news, as the county is rated as one of the worst of a group of “similar” areas. It is placed 12th out of 15th in a list of local authorities with low levels of economic deprivation.
The figures are broken down into deaths from different diseases.
There were 99 deaths from cancer per 100,000 people in Warwickshire in the years measured – putting the county 41st nationally. Common causes are smoking, drinking and a poor diet.
Warwickshire ranked 33rd in terms of heart disease and stroke, and 30th with regard to lung disease.
The county’s worst figures were for liver disease. It ranked 61st, but remained better than average. Alcohol, hepatitis and obesity are the most common causes.
But Warwickshire fares less well when compared with local authority areas regarded as similar in terms of economic and social factors. It is outperformed by neighbouring Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, which are ranked eighth and fifth respectively.
Nationally, the figures show that people living in the most deprived areas of the country are the most likely to die early. The best figures came from Wokingham in Berkshire, with the worst found in Manchester.
Responding to the findings, Dr John Linnane, Warwickshire director of public health, said: “This is a wake-up call for Warwickshire.
“Compared to the national picture Warwickshire is doing well, except for liver disease. This is particularly worrying with the county having a higher than the national average rate of binge drinking.”
Anyone who dies aged below 75 is regarded as having died prematurely.
Cllr Bob Stevens, the county councillor responsible for public health, said: “Smoking is still the number one cause of premature deaths in Warwickshire.
“We need to refocus efforts around smoking, particularly with regards to smoking in pregnancy and childhood.”
Visit longerlives.phe.org.uk for more information.