The charity Asthma and Lung UK looked at deaths and hospital admissions for people suffering from conditions including asthma, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition caused mainly by smoking.
Of the 549,349 deaths in England in 2020/21, around 9% were due to respiratory causes, the majority of which were due to pneumonia and COPD.
About 3% of all hospital admissions each year are due to respiratory conditions.
Analysis of the charity’s data, excluding specific lung cancer deaths and lung cancer admissions, shows that Knowsley, Inverclyde, Salford, North Ayrshire and Blackburn with Darwen topped the rankings for places with the highest rates. discharges from emergency hospital admissions and deaths from lung cancer. conditions in the UK.
Meanwhile, places like York, Bracknell Forest, Barnet, Kensington and Chelsea, and West Sussex had the lowest rates.
The charity said there is a north-south divide when it comes to poor lung health, with the North West in particular having higher death rates and hospital admissions for lung problems.
He said some of the biggest problems are in regions with high levels of deprivation and also higher levels of air pollution. Rising smoking rates in deprived areas also play a role, for example in Blackpool, where an estimated fifth of the adult population smokes.
Asthma and Lung UK has launched an End the Lung Health Lottery campaign to highlight what it says is irregular care for people with lung conditions.
He is calling on the government to tackle health inequalities, saying Blackpool has a death rate from lung conditions that is more than twice that of more affluent areas like London’s Richmond.
Sarah Woolnough, chief executive of the charity, said: “It is appalling that people across the UK are struggling to breathe, being rushed to hospital in an emergency and so many dying preventably from their lung conditions.
“We know that people in deprived areas are more likely to have poorer lung health, often with no choice but to live in lower-quality housing and more polluted areas, with higher rates of smoking. We need to tackle the lung health lottery head on.
“To do better, UK governments need to address the stark inequality in lung health and ensure the NHS has the resources to support its dedicated staff.
“People at risk of or living with lung conditions cannot simply move to improve their lung health, it is health inequality that we must combat.
“Governments must ensure that people living with a lung condition are diagnosed early, get help to quit smoking, can breathe good-quality air, and receive the right support and treatment to manage their lung condition well.”