Hartlepool named one of the worst towns in England for premature deaths

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HARTLEPOOL has one of the worst premature death rates in England according to new figures.

The town is ranked 131 – out of 150 – on Public Health England’s (PHE) Longer Lives website which has been created to promote public awareness of health problems.

In the two-year period from 2009-11, 1,034 people per 100,000 of the borough’s population died under the age of 75. The main killer was cancer with 138 people dying from the disease – ranking Hartlepool 144th for that disease.

Heart disease and stroke was the second highest cause of death affecting 75 people to place the town in 115th position.

Lung disease contributed to 30 deaths ranking the town as 108th on the table, while liver disease claimed 23 people’s lives, with the graph showing Hartlepool was 134th.

Neighbouring regional authorities fared equally as bad with Newcastle being ranked overall as the 130th area where people are likely to die prematurely.

Sunderland came in at the 132nd spot and Middlesborough took the 145th spot.

Dr Roberta Marshall, director of the PHE North East Centre, said: “Longer Lives will support local government in its new role as the champion for their public’s health. It presents a clear picture of health in local areas – where it is good and where there is more to do – so everyone involved can consider and agree how to make improvements from a common basis of the same information.

“The website goes further than just data – it also contains evidence of what needs to be done and case studies of what has been successful elsewhere.”

The site uses a traffic light rating system, showing those above average in tackling avoidable deaths as green, while those that still have more to do, are red. Hartlepool is in the red.

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.”