Respiratory disease

Chronic respiratory diseases are diseases of the airways and other structures of the lung. Two of the most common are asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Respiratory disease is one of the main causes of premature deaths and Public Health England's Public Health Profiles includes two indicators that measure premature mortality: under-75 mortality from respiratory disease, and under-75 mortality from respiratory disease considered preventable.[i]

Smoking, the major cause of COPD, and air pollution are the two main modifiable risk factors amenable to public health interventions, while poor housing and fuel poverty (resulting in cold/damp houses) can also have an impact. Please also see our air quality and health interactive dashboard, available from the related information box on the right.

Key findings

Prevalence and admissions

Where rates are stated, these are per 100,000 of the population. 

  • Five of the six clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) across the Lancashire-12 area have a significantly higher level of asthma prevalence compared to England (6.0%), with NHS Greater Preston CCG significantly lower (5.8%) (2018/19).* 
  • For COPD, five CCGs have a significantly higher prevalence compared to England (1.9%), with NHS Greater Preston CCG significantly lower.*
  • In Lancashire-12, there were 3,673 emergency hospital admissions for COPD (persons, 35+ years) in 2017/18, giving a directly standardised rate of 496, which is significantly above England's rate (415). Both Blackpool (854) and Blackburn with Darwen (738) are also significantly higher.
  • The rates of admissions for asthma for children aged 0-9 in Lancashire-12 (415.1, crude rate), Blackpool (515.5) and Blackburn with Darwen (429.7) are all significantly higher than England (255.8) (2016/17).
  • For children aged 10-18, the rates for Lancashire-12 (166.4), Blackpool (404.2) and Blackburn with Darwen (391.3) are significantly higher than England (137.6) (2016/17).
*there is a data quality issue with this value due to a potential underestimate of the value due to double counting of patients in QOF (Quality and Outcomes Framework). 

Mortality

The following findings relate to deaths from respiratory disease among people aged under-75 for the period 2016-18. Rates are directly age standardised and are per 100,000 of the population.

  • There were a total of 1,473 deaths (838 males and 635 females) in the Lancashire-12 area, giving the county a rate of 42.9, which is significantly higher than England (34.7). Blackpool (76.1) and Blackburn with Darwen (67.5) are also significantly higher. 
  • Over half (54.1%) of the deaths were considered preventable, with Lancashire-12's rate (23.1) being significantly above England's rate (19.2). Blackpool (42.8) and Blackburn with Darwen (40.1) are also significantly higher than England. 
  • From a baseline of the 2001-03 rate (23.9), the trend for Lancashire-12 showed a decrease to 2012-14, however this has been increasing slightly since 2013-15. This reflects the trend for England. In Blackpool there has been a slight reduction to 2016-18. In Blackburn with Darwen, the increase has carried on from 2013-15.

The following findings relate to deaths from COPD among people of all ages for the period 2016-18. Rates are directly age standardised and are per 100,000 of the population. 

  • In Lancashire-12, 2,246 people died from COPD, giving the area a rate of 60.6, which is significantly higher than England (51.7). Blackpool (99.4) and Blackburn with Darwen (81.6) are also significantly higher. 
  • Looking at the district figures, Hyndburn (83.5), Preston (82.5), Burnley (79.8), Pendle (74.8), Lancaster (64.3) and Rossendale (62.9) are all significantly higher than England, while only Ribble Valley (41.6) and Fylde (41.5) are significantly lower. 

[i] Deaths are considered preventable if, in the light of the understanding of the determinants of health at the time of death, all or most deaths from the underlying cause (subject to age limits if appropriate) could potentially be avoided by public health interventions in the broadest sense.

Public Health England has updated its INteractive Health Atlas of Lung conditions in England (Inhale), which is an online tool showing data from a range of sources around respiratory diseases including COPD and asthma. 

For county, unitary and CCG data and further information please see below. Please note, not all indicators will be displayed at this current geographical level. To select the CCG indicators, click on the down arrow next to 'area type' and choose 'CCG 2018/19'. To select the districts, choose 'Districts & UA'. 

Page updated December 2019