Island's heart disease and cancer death rate higher than in UK

By by Adrian Darbyshire adrian.darbyshire@iomtoday.co.im Twitter:@iomAdrian in Health

Death rates from heart disease and cancer in the island are higher than those in the UK, it has been revealed.

And public health officials are trying to find out why that’s the case.

Dr Henrietta Ewart, the island’s new director of public health, said further work was needed to interpret preliminary findings.

She said that cardiovascular disease and cancers were areas where there were worse outcomes than expected given all the benefits we have of living in this island.

Dr Ewart said further work was needed to understand why the death rates are higher than in the UK and what can put in place to try to turn that situation around.

She told the Manx Independent: ’This was a preliminary finding which will need further work to interpret.

’We do know that lifestyle factors contribute to around a third of cancer cases and around two thirds of deaths from cardiovascular disease - across the developed world.’

Dr Ewart said smoking is still the most important modifiable risk factor for a wide range of diseases but obesity is rapidly catching up and will likely soon overtake smoking as the single most important cause of preventable ill health and premature death.

She said: ’We will not know how our rates of lifestyle risk factors compare to England until we have the results of the recent lifestyle survey.

’When finalised, it will be possible to compare our health outcome indicators with those published for England in the Public Health Outcomes Framework. We will be using our outcome data to identify priority areas for in-depth work to identify what we can do to improve things.

’This is likely to require a combination of lifestyle change to reduce risk of developing the conditions and review of existing healthcare pathways to ensure best evidence-based care for those who do.’

Dr Ewart was appointed the island’s director of public health in October last year, having previously served as interim director, added: ’We will be publishing all finished reports on health outcomes so they will be publicly available.

’It is essential that we engage the public - as individuals, families and communities - in working with us to reduce lifestyle risk factors.’

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Conch · 8 days ago · Report

It is education @Richeader, the percentage of pregnant women who smoke in say Blackpool is far higher than those who live in the lets just say posher more affluent parts of London.

RichEader · 8 days ago · Report

Is anyone else experiencing their comments simply disappearing after the system acknowledges receiving and publishing them? Sorry, but I'm not impressed with this new and 'improved' comment system. It might explain why we no longer see so much comment on issues, especially from regular contributors.

RichEader · 8 days ago · Report

I agree we see a lot more smoking here than in the UK; at least in those parts of the UK we normally go to. In addition, the rate of obesity here, even amongst very young children and, it must be said, amongst hospital 'health' workers, is incredibly high. What I've always heard and read over the years is that rates of smoking and obesity are inversely proportional to the population level of education. Perhaps Dr Ewart could confirm that one way or the other.

ET · 8 days ago · Report

If you're part of the problem you can't see it.

Lyz · 8 days ago · Report

if you go to Bristol, one of the most progressive cities, in 2015 they made Millennium Square and Anchor Square smoke-free zones, to make Bristol Smoke-free, healthy and clean. This was all started by a lady who suffered chronic obstructive pulmonary disease caused purely by smoking. This is the way to go. The island isn't progressive in this regard

Lyz · 8 days ago · Report

If you recall, after the war in UK there was a pub on every corner and high numbers of drinkers (rather like the iom) drinking was seen as the ONLY pastime. Since then the UK moved on (apart from certain areas). they tell us the iom is a lovely place to live?, obviously not. People don't get it here, we've seen college students carrying roll-up tobacco tins, its cultural and the island needs to evolve, it's behind the times. this is a real bugbear for us here, it shouldn't be like this

Conch · 8 days ago · Report

Dr Ewart, have you noticed the high numbers of smokers in the iom, its like the seventies here even a visitor of ours from Bristol to the island commented on the numbers smoking outside (young women also). I don't know about anyone else but I never saw this many smokers back in the 80s in the UK. its a bit like post-war England here people haven't cottoned on to healthy living. Strand street is like a fog with smokers standing outside shops, we avoid it like the plague.

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