Derry has one of highest premature death rates

Skyline, Derry.
Skyline, Derry.

Deprived areas of Derry and Strabane Council area have some of the highest premature death rates in the UK, new research has shown.

In the poorer parts of DCSDC area, there were 445 avoidable deaths per 100,000 between 2012 and 2016. This was the second highest rate of avoidable deaths in the UK, behind Belfast at 517 per 100,000.

Figures show that across the UK the mortality rate from avoidable causes is more than three times higher in deprived areas than in the most affluent.

Avoidable deaths is a death under the age of 75 from causes that are considered avoidable in the presence of ‘timely and effective healthcare’ or ‘public health interventions’.

Included in the list are deaths from health conditions deemed preventable or treatable such as heart disease, some cancers, respiratory diseases and type 2 diabetes, accidental or self-inflicted injuries, infections and drug use disorders.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said: “Reducing inequalities in health is a huge challenge which requires sustained collaboration across government departments and agencies, local government, the community and voluntary sector, businesses and with communities themselves to address the factors which impact on health and wellbeing, both locally and regionally.

“Departments are working together on a range of issues, including mitigating the impacts of poverty, offering parenting and family support and tackling alcohol and drug misuse.”

Local Sinn Fein Councillor and health spokesperson, Patricia Logue, said there needs to be a ‘united, concerted approach to tackle health inequalities.’

“This analysis is yet further evidence of the existence of significant health inequalities within our society with a higher proportion of avoidable deaths for those living in deprived areas.

“It is not acceptable that where you live can affect how long you live.”