70,000 premature deaths in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire over next 25 years, NHS claims
At least 70,000 deaths over the next 25 years could be avoided if local people were to make healthier lifestyle choices. Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has said.
Research undertaken by the CCG found that over 50 per cent of premature deaths from cardiovascular (heart) disease could be avoided if people locally quit smoking, stuck to guidelines for alcohol consumption, ate a healthy diet and did not misuse drugs.
A further 30 per cent of premature deaths due to cancer and 35 per cent of premature deaths from chronic respiratory disease could be avoided by following healthy living guidance.
Even a small change could make a big difference: if everyone in the county with a BMI (body mass index) of over 30 managed to reduce it by just two points this would result in almost 20,000 fewer premature deaths over the next 25 years, the CCG said. This would also save the local NHS almost £200 million over this time period.
For every person who gives up smoking the local health and social care budget would save £3,945 over the smoker’s lifetime. With an estimated 100,000 smokers currently living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, this would add up to £394.5 million saved over the lifetimes of all smokers as well as a 15 per cent improvement in years of life lost prematurely.
Associate director of clinical outcomes and population health at the CCG, Dr Fiona Head, said: “Research shows the significant impact that unhealthy lifestyle choices can have both on an individual’s health and on the health and care system as a whole.
“By making healthier lifestyle choices people can reduce their risk of premature death at the same time as freeing up NHS and social care funding for other purposes. Healthy choices such as using cars less and walking more are also good for the planet.
“Part of our role is to help people to make healthy lifestyle changes. Another is to work with and listen to the local communities we serve. This is why we’ve launched the BIG conversation – 10 simple questions, one BIG conversation. We’d encourage everyone in the local area to visit www.bit.ly/NHSBigConversation to learn more about the campaign and to submit their views.”