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Lung disease 'hotspots' pinpointed

13th November 2007

A UK map pinpointing hotspots where serious lung disease poses the greatest problem has been drawn up by experts.

The findings come after the British Lung Foundation (BLF) focused on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which includes conditions such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

It found that the health service was under greatest strain from COPD – the UK’s fifth biggest killer - in deprived areas. South Tyneside has the highest proportion of people at risk of hospital admission from COPD where people are 62% more at risk of admission for lung disease than the UK average.

The research also showed affluent areas, mostly in the south of England, were least likely to be affected.

Lung disease hotspots, defined as areas putting the greatest overall pressure on local health services, included Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Liverpool, Hull, Sunderland and Manchester.

Lowest risk areas include Surrey, Devon, Hampshire, Dorset, North Yorkshire and York.

The BLF wants the NHS to carry out targeted health campaigns in hotspot areas.

Chief executive Dame Helena Shovelton said: “COPD blights the lives of those who have it and places a huge burden on the NHS, particularly in the hotspot areas identified in our report.

“If people with COPD can be diagnosed earlier, we could dramatically reduce the death rate and human suffering from this debilitating disease.?

Health minister Ann Keen said COPD was a priority for the NHS and that good progress was being made with the development of a new National Services Framework (NSF) for patients with COPD.

 

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