Action call over lung illnesses in South Tyne

People in South Tyneside are more likely to die from respiratory illnesses than in most other areas of the country, new figures show.
Lung illness figures.Lung illness figures.
Lung illness figures.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show there were 108 deaths from respiratory illness for every 100,000 people in the area in 2021 – putting it 52nd out of 333 local authorities in England for deaths from lung conditions

The average for England is 94 deaths for every 100,000.

The Asthma + Lung UK charity says the data shows the inequalities between different areas.

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Sarah Woolnough, chief executive of the charity, said: “We need to tackle the lung health lottery head on.

“We know that people in less well off areas are more likely to have worse lung health, often have no choice but to live in poorer quality housing and have higher smoking rates."

Separate figures, also from the ONS, show 16.3% of adults in South Tyneside are smokers – higher than the UK average of 13.3%.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We are working hard to improve lung health across the country – including by investing millions in research and backing the NHS’s targeted lung health checks programme, which aims to detect conditions including lung cancer earlier and faster.

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“We’ve set ambitious clean air targets to reduce the health impacts of air pollution – ensuring reductions are made where concentrations are highest – and we’re committed to delivering on our Smokefree ambition by 2030, with smoking rates in England currently at an all-time low.”