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7 February 2011
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Health Profile - North East England

Smoking - the biggest killer


Smoking rates in men are the highest in England with the prevalence of smoking as much as 25% higher than the national average.

Local districts have lung cancer rates up to 70% higher than the national average.

The coronary heart disease rate amonst over 75's is higher than the national average, with many of these deaths preventable as they are associated with lifestyle factors.

Alcohol and drugs - top of the table


Average weekly alcohol consumption in the North East is higher than any other region in England. At current levels it is estimated a third of adults are drinking their way to an early grave.

Obesity - a growing problem


Obesity rates in the North East are significantly higher than the England average and are increasing.

The local population - getting older

Bridge over the Tyne

The North East expects to see an increasing proportion of older people and a decreasing proportion of younger people.

The proportion of the population long-term unemployed, or employed in routine occupations, is higher than the national average.

The region has the highest proportion of unpaid carers in the region - 11% of the population.

More than 10% of the working age population in the North East claim incapacity benefit - higher than any other English region.

The region has the second highest teenage pregnancy rate in England.

Life Expectancy - gloomy statistics

Elderly woman

The North East shows poorer population health than the rest of the country, with life expectancy lower than any other English region.

On the basis of 2001 census data, even the best performing Primary Care Trusts (PCT) in the region were worse in terms of health than the English average.

Information provided by NHS North East.
Last updated: 1st February 2007

NHS North East answers our questions on the state of public health in the region.

Related Links

NHS North East
The website of NHS North East.
The North East Public Health Observatory - a website responding to regional and local health intelligence needs.

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NHS North East

NHS North East

  • NHS North East is responsible for the development of health services in the North East, on behalf of the Department of Health.
  • Its role is to make sure that services are fit for purpose, that quality and improvement targets are met and that NHS organisations in the region are providing good quality services to the local communities.

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