Avoidable Mortality Rates Rose Marginally In 2018

Avoidable mortality rates increased slightly between 2017 and 2018 but have fallen by 67 per cent since 2001.

According to the most recent data set on avoidable mortality, released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 22 per cent of all deaths could have been avoided in 2018.

Overall, 138,293 deaths of the total 616,014 were either treatable or avoidable. This figure breaks down to 237.9 avoidable UK deaths per 100,000 citizens.

Since the last data set was released, the average number of avoidable deaths has increased by 1 additional death. However, despite this slight anomaly, avoidable deaths have been falling significantly since the 355 deaths per 100,000 citizens recorded in 2001.

The UK’s constituent countries offered significant variations for avoidable mortality rates in 2018, ranging from 309.9 in Scotland to 226.8 deaths per 100,000 population in England.

Of the total amounts of preventable deaths, 64 per cent or 88,299 deaths were considered preventable whilst 36 per cent or 49,994 people died from treatable conditions.

Scotland had a statistically significantly higher mortality rate for three of the seven broad causes of avoidable deaths with Wales experiencing higher levels of preventable deaths for diseases of the respiratory systems.

Worryingly, whilst most avoidable causes of death are declining, deaths attributed to alcohol and drugs have risen sharply over the past five years. 48.2 deaths per 100,000 population died because of drugs and alcohol in Scotland compared with 19.4 deaths in 2014 whilst deaths in England have increased from 19.4 to 21.1 per 100,000 population.

With more illnesses and potentially life-threatening injuries being treated in the modern world, patients who may otherwise have died in the past could be more inclined to ensure their final wishes are legally secured.

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