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New figures show years lost to unhealthy lifestyles
8:00am Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in News
Bradford residents are losing an aggregate of nearly 12,000 years of their lives annually from conditions that could be prevented by healthier lifestyles.
Figures released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre show that 35,237 years of life were lost prematurely across the district between 2009 and 2011.
The report calculates the difference between the ages people die against their potential life expectancy given access to timely and effective healthcare.
Primary reasons for the premature deaths include heart disease, respiratory problems and liver-related illness.
Commenting on the findings, which are among both the highest in Yorkshire and nationwide, Dr Anita Parkin, director of public health for Bradford Council, said: “The Bradford district faces unique health challenges because of the diverse nature of the population and because parts of the district remain among the most deprived in England.
“Whilst Bradford Council remains committed to improving the health of its citizens, the complex factors seen across the district impact on our overall position nationally.”
The Council said it works with national health campaigns to highlight the importance of taking responsibility for making positive lifestyle choices by exercising regularly, drinking in moderation, eating a healthy diet and stopping smoking.
In addition, the Public Health directorate has specialist teams which provide support and advice in these areas.
However, the alarming figures tie in with those provided by Public Health England’s 2009-2011 Longer Lives survey, which ranked Bradford 122nd out of 150 local authority areas, with 4,697 people said to have died prematurely.
Asked what needed to be done to reverse this pattern, Dr Parkin said: “We continue to work closely with the NHS locally and with other key partners to introduce innovative initiatives which address big issues such as stroke prevention and chronic kidney disease.
“There is already evidence that these initiatives are reducing the number of premature deaths.
“The Council is committed with all its partners to fully implementing the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy and the issue is much wider than just improving healthcare.
“We work across the Council and with partner organisations to tackle other factors such as education, housing and poverty.”
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