NI cancer rate up, heart disease rate down


Heart disease rates in Northern Ireland are down but cancer rates are up, new statistics published by the Department of Health show.

The department published its annual ‘public health fact sheet’ yesterday, outlining overall life expectancy alongside key figures such as the suicide rate, teenage pregnancy rate, and statistics on major diseases and conditions.

Fewer people are being admitted to hospital for circulatory diseases — anything from angina to cardiac arrest — while the number of new cases of cancer has gone up.

There were 108 fewer cases of circulatory diease — down from 2,170 per 100,000 people last year to 2,062 this year. The number of new cancer diagnoses, however, increased from 555 per 100,000 people to 596.

Life expectancy rates have remained stable, with men on average living for 78.5 years and women living for 82.3 years.

Teenage pregnancy rates, meanwhile, have decreased slightly in comparison with the previous year’s figure.

The under 17 teenage birth rate stood at 1.3 births per 1,000 population in this year’s report, compared to 1.7 last year.

The overall ‘preventable mortality rate’ stands at 207 deaths per 100,000 people — a slight increase on last year’s figure of 205.

The suicide rate has increased. The figure reported in this year’s public health fact sheet stands at 16.5 deaths by suicide per 100,000 people, compared to 15.9 in the 2017 report.

Smoking rates, meanwhile, are down from 20% of adults last year to 18% this year. The number of people who say they don’t drink is up from 20% of adults last year to 23% this year.