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UK falls behind on premature mortality

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A study shows that Britain has a worse record of premature death than other developed countries.

Britain has a worse record of premature death than other developed countries, a new research reveals.

According to a detailed analysis of the 2010 Global Burden of Disease data, in 1990 the UK ranked 10th in a league table of 19 countries showing years of life lost (YLL) per 100,000 members of the population. But in 2010 Britain had slipped to 14th in the table, with only five countries showing worse figures.

The report, which was published in the Lancet medical journal on Monday, suggested that although average life expectancy has increased by 4.2 years to 79.9 in the 20 years period, the premature death rate had hardly changed in comparison with other improving health outcomes in the UK for both men and women aged 20-54.

Researcher Kevin Fenton called the report “a wake-up call” for Britain, saying, “The reality is that nearly all of these conditions are either preventable or amenable to early intervention.”

British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt also described Britain’s health performance as “shocking” compared to other countries.

Moreover, the study found that factors such as smoking, physical inactivity and alcohol consumption were among biggest risk factors for illness and disease across the UK.


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