Premature death rate in East Sussex is one of the lowest

Residents in East Sussex are less likely to die prematurely from disease than those living in other parts of the country, new figures have revealed.

Statistics published on Public Health England’s Longer Lives website, set up to show how mortality rates vary between local authorities, put East Sussex among the top areas for low rates of premature death.

The figures, for 2009 to 2011, relate to the number of residents who have died under the age of 75 from cancer, heart disease and stroke, lung disease and liver disease.

For overall premature death rates, East Sussex was ranked 48th out of 150 local authorities and considered among the ‘best’ for low mortality rates.

Dr Diana Grice, East Sussex County Council’s director of Public Health, said: “Although people living in East Sussex have low rates of premature mortality there is still a 13 year variation in life expectancy between the wards with the highest and lowest life expectancy in the county.

“These statistics are helpful in identifying which areas of public health need to be addressed to drive down the numbers of premature deaths. There is still more that can be done to reduce preventable deaths of our residents in some parts of East Sussex.

“The county is considered among the best for low premature death rates, but we are committed to improving the health of all our residents and will continue to encourage people to improve their wellbeing through support to make changes to their lifestyles such as stopping smoking, good diet and exercise.”

For premature deaths from cancer, East Sussex recorded 102 deaths per 100,000 residents between 2009 and 2011. This puts the county 55th out of 150.

Early deaths from heart disease and stroke in East Sussex were also low compared to other authorities, with 51 deaths per 100,000 residents over the same period.

Statistics for premature deaths due to lung disease and liver disease are among the ‘best’ in the country, with 17 and 12 per 100,000 residents respectively.

Cllr Keith Glazier, Leader of East Sussex County Council, added: “The council works hard to promote healthy living among our residents and these figures show that, on the whole, people in East Sussex live healthy lives.

“However, any number of premature deaths is too many and we will use the data published by Public Health England to ensure the work we do is targeting those most at risk from disease.”