Related to: Cancer, Ill Health and Disability, General Mortality, Life Expectancy, Coronary Heart Disease

Key Facts

  • In England and Wales in 2013, cancer was the most common broad cause of death (29 per cent of all deaths registered) followed by circulatory diseases, such as heart disease and strokes (28 per cent of all deaths registered).
  • The leading cause of death in B&NES during the period 2011 to 2013 was also cancer (28 per cent of all deaths); followed by deaths from circulatory diseases (27 per cent of all deaths); and thirdly, deaths from respiratory diseases (12 per cent of all deaths).
  • The performance of the UK in terms of premature mortality – generally considered to be deaths of those aged under-75 – is persistently and significantly below the mean of the European Union EU15+ countries.
  • Around a quarter of deaths in B&NES are from those aged under-75 (amounting to an average of 420 deaths per annum during the period 2011 to 2013).  Cancer is by far the leading cause of death among the under-75s in B&NES - accounting for 44% of all premature deaths in B&NES during the period 2011 to 2013.
  • In terms of deaths in under-75s during the period 2012-14 (considered as premature death), Bath & North East Somerset compares well to England and other similar local authorities for all leading causes of mortality, apart from deaths from liver disease.
  • The top three causes for 'Years of Life Lost' (YLL) in Bath & North East Somerset are ischaemic heart diseases (Coronary Heart Disease); Suicide and Mortality of Undetermined Intent; and cancer of trachea, bronchus and lung (Lung Cancer).

Leading causes of mortality

In England and Wales in 2013, Cancer was the most common broad cause of death (29 per cent of all deaths registered) followed by circulatory diseases, such as heart disease and strokes (28 per cent of all deaths registered). 1

In Bath and North East Somerset Cancer is also the leading cause of mortality, accounting for 28% of all deaths between 2011 and 2013, and killing an average of 450 people per year.  However, mortality from circulatory diseases, for example, Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke; is not far behind, accounting for 27% of all deaths between 2011 and 2013, and killing an average of 430 people per year.  Deaths from respiratory diseases, for example, chronic bronchitis and emphysema; accounted for 12% of all deaths between 2011 and 2013, and killing an average of 190 people per year.

For further information please see EXECUTIVE BRIEFING: '6 Facts about Mortality in Bath and North East Somerset'.

Premature Mortality

The performance of the UK in terms of premature mortality – generally considered to be deaths of those aged under 75 – is persistently and significantly below the mean of EU15+ (The original 15 members of the EU plus Australia, Canada, Norway and the USA). 2

Around a quarter of deaths in B&NES are from those aged under-75 (amounting to an average of 420 deaths per annum during the period 2011 to 2013).  Cancer is by far the leading cause of death among the under-75s in B&NES - accounting for 44% of all premature deaths in B&NES during the period 2011 to 2013.  For further information please see EXECUTIVE BRIEFING: '6 Facts about Mortality in Bath and North East Somerset'.

The Public Health England Campaign; Longer Lives 3, highlights the burden of premature mortality in England by comparing rates of pre-75 mortality in different local authorities across the country.  In terms of relative premature mortality, B&NES performs well in all areas listed (in Table 2) apart from deaths from liver disease.

ConditionCompared to Country (2012-14)Compared to Similar Authorities (2012-14)
All PrematureBest: 9th out of 150Better than Average: 5th out of 15
CancerBest: 9th out of 150Better than Average: 3rd out of 15
Coronary Heart Disease and StrokeBest: 3rd out of 150Better than Average: 1st out of 15
Lung DiseaseBest: 1st out of 149Best: 1st out of 14
Liver DiseaseBetter than Average: 37th out of 149Worse than Average: 12th out of 14

Table 2: Longer Lives (2015), Public Health Engalnd, available from: http://longerlives.phe.org.uk/

Years of Life Lost (YLL)

In 2014 Public Health England’s Knowledge and Intelligence Team (South West) released two regional reports that presented the top 20 causes of death in terms of numbers of Years of Life Lost (YLL) for the South West (GOR) (including Dorset) over the period 2008-2012.  This measure of YLL looks not at the number of years someone can expect to live, but instead at the number of years of potential life they have lost if they die before a certain age.  It is a measure of premature mortality which can also be referred to as Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL) or Potential Years of Life Lost (PYLL).

Methodology for calculating YLL: the analysis uses the convention that anyone who dies under the age of 75 has died prematurely.  For example, a person who dies at the age of 50 would be considered to have 25 years of life lost.  Deaths occurring above the age of 75 are not considered to be premature and so the number of years of life lost is zero.  For further details of the methodology please contact Strategy & Performance, B&NES.

Results: across all causes of death, B&NES CCG has a significantly lower rate of premature deaths in terms of annual YLL per 10,000 persons under age 75 compared to the comparable rates for England and South West GOR (Figure 2).

Years of Life Lost All Causes of Death

Figure 2: Annual Rates of Years of Life Lost - England, South West GOR and South West CCGs, 2008 to 2012.  Note: rates are age standardised to the European Standard Population age structure [Source: ONS].

B&NES's top six leading causes of premature death are shown in Table 3.

Cause of DeathAnnual rates of years of life lost, 2008 to 2012, B&NESRank, B&NES
Ischaemic heart disease (Coronary Heart Disease)32.51
Suicide and Mortality of Undetermined Intent25.52
Malignant neoplasm (cancer) of trachea, bronchus and lung (Lung Cancer)24.93
Chronic liver disease20.04
Breast Cancer19.95
Transport accidents (Road Traffic Collisions)16.46

Table 3: Leading Causes of Premature Death in B&NES, 2008 to 2012

B&NES CCG were significantly below comparable rates for England and South West GOR of annual YLL during 2008-2012 for the following two causes of death:

  (i) Ischaemic Heart Disease (Coronary Heart Disease); and

  (ii) Congenital Malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities.

B&NES CCG were significantly below comparable rates for England of annual YLL during 2008-2012 for the following five causes of death:

  (i) Malignant neoplasm of trachea, bronchus and lung (Lung Cancer);

  (ii) Cerebrovascular disease (Stroke);

  (iii) Chronic lower respiratory diseases (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease);

  (iv) Malignant neoplasm of pancreas (Digestive Cancers - Bowel (Colorectal) Cancer and Upper Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer ); and

  (v) Influenza and pneumonia (Respiratory Infections).

For the other 14 causes of death looked at, B&NES CCG were not significantly different to comparable rates for England and South West GOR of annual YLL during 2008-2012.  These include: Suicide and Mortality of Undetermined Intent; chronic liver disease; Breast Cancer; transport accidents; malignant neoplasms of colon, sigmoid, rectum and anus; malignant neoplasms of lymphoid, haematopoitic and related tissue; malignant neoplasm of brain and central nervous system; accidental poisoning; symptoms and ill-defined conditions; malignant neoplasm of oesophagus; mental and behavioural disorders due to psychoactive substance sue; malignant neoplasm of ovary; and melanoma and other malignant neoplasms of skin.