London’s Poverty Profile

Premature death by borough

What does this chart show?

Premature mortality, measured as the number of deaths of those aged 55 to 64 years old per 100,000 of the population by borough. In 2015, the rate of premature deaths was 566 per 100,000 in London and 613 in England on average. This is lower than the rate in 2011, which was 686 in London and 797 in England. The rate has fallen more quickly in England than in London so they are now much closer than five years ago. A Public Health England study found that between 1990 and 2013 there was a large increase in life expectancy in England. The increase was mainly because of falls in the death rate from cardiovascular disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and some cancers.* There have been improvements in the treatment of these diseases and the introduction of national preventative programmes.** 

There is once again a great deal of variation across the boroughs. Those with the highest levels of deprivation such as Tower Hamlets, Barking & Dagenham, Hackney and Islington also have some of the highest rates of premature mortality of all the boroughs. There are, however, some boroughs which stand out as they do not follow this pattern. Wandsworth, one of the least deprived boroughs, and Hammersmith & Fulham which is in the middle for deprivation are both found among the five worst for premature mortality.

Hammersmith & Fulham has the highest rate of premature deaths at 795 per 100,000, which is near twice as many as the best performing borough, Bromley, with 399 per 100,000. Bromley has the lowest rate of premature deaths despite having higher deprivation levels than other boroughs that perform well on this indicator. 

Between 2011 and 2015 the rate of premature death fell overall and in most, but not all, London boroughs. Southwark, Hammersmith & Fulham, Redbridge, Havering, Richmond, and Westminster saw no or little improvement. 

There was a large improvement in Lambeth, from 1,055 in 2011 to 696 in 2015. This is a fall of just over a third. Tower Hamlets also saw a large fall, from 983 in 2011 to 703 in 2015. However, these boroughs remain among the boroughs with the highest levels of premature mortality.

* Newton, J. (2015) Change in health in England, with analysis by English regions and areas of deprivation, 1990-2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. The Lancet.

** ONS Digital (2015) What are the top causes of death by age and gender? London: Office for National Statistics.


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