It’s been a while since I posted on Talk Health and morbidly, for reasons I will not bore you with I have been thinking about the grim reaper.

The top five causes of death in the UK (according to the Department of Health quoted in a BBC article in March of this year – www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21667065) are as follows :

Heart Disease, Stroke, Cancer, Lung and Liver disease – between them they cause more than 150,000 deaths per annum in the under 75’s and around 30,000 of these are apparently (according to Jeremy Hunt) preventable.

Coronary disease, the biggest killer, takes over 200 people each day and sadly smoking, obesity and having high blood pressure are all massive risk factors – 1 in 3 people in England and Scotland have high blood pressure but only half of them are receiving treatment.

Cancer is now so common that around one in thirty people have cancer or are in remission although survival rates are improving it is estimated that by 2030 over three million people will have cancer.

Particularly scary for those of us who enjoy a tipple is liver disease – the only major cause of death that is on the increase in the United Kingdom. Death from chronic lever disease and cirrhosis in the under 65’s has increased by 20% in the UK whilst falling in the rest of Europe. Consider this, over a third of men and quarter of women drink more than the recommended daily units of alcohol – so we really only have ourselves to blame.

In hospitals the Centres of Disease Control in the USA estimates that there are 1.7 million hospital acquired infections in America (causing or contributing to around 99,000 deaths per annum) . According to Wikipedia, in the UK hospital infection rates run at around 10% compared to 8.2% in 2006 – that’s probably more scary than drinking too much red wine.

Lastly I wanted to finish on a bizarre but slightly more upbeat/funny note. According to the Guardian from a graph and set of data printed in 2011 :

132 were killed by inanimate objects (not cars) in 2010

23 by animate objects (animals presumably)

7 died following being bitten or struck (?) by mammals (but not rats or dogs)

Bath tubs took 29 Britons

5 people succumbed (somehow) to accidental suffocation in bed

Nobody died from a lightning strike in 2010 but one person did the previous year

Nobody dies from rat bites anymore – at least in 2008 through 2010.

On balance it seems that rats are safer than red wine, lightning or taking a bath.














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