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5,300 people in North Yorkshire die prematurely in two years
MORE than 5,300 people in North Yorkshire have died prematurely in only two years and almost a quarter of adults are obese, analysis of the region’s health problems has shown.
The region’s binge-drinking levels are also higher than the national average, 14 per cent of women smoked during pregnancy, and a child’s life expectancy can vary by up to eight years depending on where they were born, according to a report by North Yorkshire’s director of public health.
Dr Lincoln Sargeant’s study, his first since becoming head of the North Yorkshire County Council team which implements health policy, also showed:
• About 100,000 people in North Yorkshire do not know they have high blood pressure.
• Selby’s obesity rates are “significantly” above the national average.
• Almost one in ten Year Eight and Ten pupils had smoked in the week before they were surveyed.
• 57,000 people aged between 18 and 64 have mental health problems, and the number of over-65s with depression may spiral.
• The region has a below-average rate for children walking to school.
The findings claimed there are “stark differences” in death rates across North Yorkshire, with the highest rates of “early” death – under the age of 75 – being in the most deprived areas. The number of dementia-sufferers aged 75 and over is expected to almost double to 15,000 by 2030, and to more than double to 9,000 among the 85-and-over age bracket during the same period.
Dr Sargeant’s report said most North Yorkshire adults have at least one of the major “lifestyle risks”, such as smoking, heavy drinking, getting little exercise or being overweight or obese. It also said that while the region was seen as being “prosperous”, every district council area has pockets of deprivation and areas along the East Coast are particularly badly hit by poverty.
“The link between social and economic deprivation and health outcomes is clear in North Yorkshire, and the response to meeting the challenges to the health of the population requires the combined action of all organisations and agencies that influence the wider environment in which we live,” wrote Dr Sargeant.
He said health and wellbeing had to be “a central consideration” in all decisions organisations make, and public health was “about the big picture, not just individual choice and behaviour”.
The report said North Yorkshire’s 600,000 population is expected to grow to 650,400 by 2035, and it will have more than 160,000 over-65s by 2021.
North Yorkshire health problems at a glance
• 5,398 people died prematurely between 2009 and 2011, many of which could have been prevented through early detection and treatment
• 3,690 people were on a dementia disease register, 0.7 per cent of the population (national average 0.5 per cent)
• There were 49 stroke deaths per 100,000 people between 2008 and 2010 (national average 43 per 100,000 people)
• 24.2 per cent of adults are obese.
• Eight per cent of Year Eight and Ten pupils are regular or occasional smokers
• 25.7 per cent of adults’ are drinking riskily, with Hambleton’s rate being 30 per cent (national average 23.6 per cent)
• 23.9 per cent of adults binge-drink (national average 20.1 per cent). 125,000 people regularly drink more than recommended
• 20.5 per cent of women giving birth at Scarborough Hospital in 2011-12 smoked.
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