Respiratory Disease Mortality
Respiratory disease cause more deaths in Somerset than any other condition type apart from Cancers and Circulatory diseases. In the five-year period of 2008-12, there were 3,422 deaths caused by respiratory disease (13% of all deaths in Somerset).
These are broken down as follows:-
Pneumonia 1,331 (39% of respiratory disease mortality)
Other COPD 1,126 (33%)
Bronchitis and emphysema 105 (3%)
Asthma 44 (1%)
Other respiratory disease 816 (24%)
Respiratory infection is associated with social inequalities in all age groups and particularly in children.
In Somerset the population in the lower quintiles of deprivation have a greater frequency of emergency admission to hospital. Emergency admissions for children due to lower respiratory infections are increasing in Somerset.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is one of the most common respiratory diseases and usually affects those over the age of 35. At March 2013, Somerset had a higher prevalence of COPD (1.9%) compared to the South West average of 1.7%. For 2016/17, Somerset's emergency hospital admission rate for COPD (342/100,000 people aged 35 and over) was significantly lower than the England value (417/100,000).
Immunisations are available to protect against certain respiratory infections. Uptake is especially important for vulnerable groups such as older people and those with compromised immune systems. In Somerset, ‘flu and pneumococcal vaccination rates are higher than the national average however there are still many people who could benefit by receiving protection through vaccination.