New figures show the number of people in Milton Keynes who die due to respiratory diseases

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The number of deaths due to respiratory disease in Milton Keynes have been slammed as ‘appalling’ by experts.

Figures for 2022-23 show 235 people in MK died due to respiratory illness in 2022.

The data comes as RADAR analysis of the data exposes stark inequality across England, with a higher rate of respiratory illness tracking with deprivation levels.

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And the charity Asthma + Lung UK has slammed this as "appalling but not surprising", while calling on the new Labour Government to invest in smoking cessation services, implement new air pollution targets, and improve diagnosis and treatment of lung conditions.

Deaths from respiratory and lung conditions are above the national average in Milton Keynes.Deaths from respiratory and lung conditions are above the national average in Milton Keynes.
Deaths from respiratory and lung conditions are above the national average in Milton Keynes.

The Milton Keynes data, which comes from the Office for Health Improvements and Disparities, means there were 116 deaths per 100,000 people in the area. This is above the national average of 107 per 100,000 people.

Sarah MacFadyen, head of policy at Asthma + Lung UK, said improved lung disease outcomes will help Labour reduce the gap in life expectancy between people living in the richest and poorest regions.

She said: "It's vital the new Government follows through on its commitment to reduce inequalities by urgently bringing forward the Tobacco and Vapes Bill to phase out smoking over time, alongside investment in smoking cessation services.

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"We also need to see new legal targets for air pollution levels and action to improve diagnosis and treatment for lung conditions."

The data lays bare the inequality across England, as areas with the greatest deprivation levels have higher rates of respiratory deaths.

Just one of the 10 areas with the highest rates of respiratory deaths is ranked outside the top 25 most deprived places nationally, while the 36 worst affected places are more deprived than the average area.

The figures also show the top five areas are in the North West, while there are 100 areas in the Midlands and South with lower death rates than York, the best-performing northern area.

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Ms MacFayden said people living in deprived areas are more likely to smoke, suffer from higher levels of air pollution, and live in substandard housing.

She added: "It is appalling but not surprising that the areas with the highest rates of respiratory-related deaths are overwhelmingly in the most deprived areas.

"This stark disparity underscores how poverty and substandard living conditions are costing people’s lives."