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What people die of

In 2017 there were 2,085 deaths in Herefordshire residents with a directly standardised all age mortality rate of 910 per 100,000 population, lower than the England rate (959) and represents an overall downward trend from 1,295 in 1995.  The most common underlying causes of death in Herefordshire in 2017 were cancer, diseases of the circulatory system and diseases of the respiratory system which accounted for 70% of deaths between them. 

In 2017 there were:

  • 605 deaths from cancer in Herefordshire, which corresponds to a directly standardised cancer specific mortality rate of 264 per 100,000. The local rate was not significantly different from that for England of 272 per 100,000.
  • 589 circulatory disease specific deaths in Herefordshire, which corresponds to a directly standardised mortality rate of 252 per 100,000. The local rate was not significantly different from that for England of 242 per 100,000.
  • 274 respiratory disease specific deaths in Herefordshire, which corresponds to a directly standardised specific mortality rate of 119 per 100,000. The local rate was not significantly different from that for England of 134 per 100,000.

Premature mortality

Premature mortality is defined as death occurring in individuals aged less than 75 years. In 2017, there were 588 premature deaths in Herefordshire, corresponding to an age standardised rate of 292 per 100,000. The local rate was significantly lower than that recorded for England (327 per 100,000).

Between 2008 and 2014 the directly standardised premature mortality rate in Herefordshire showed a steady downward trend and although the rate subsequently rose the figure recorded in 2017 was significantly lower than that recorded in 2008 (365 per 100,000).

The premature mortality rate in Herefordshire is significantly higher in the most deprived areas of the county compared to less deprived areas.

There were 1,259 deaths (all patients) recorded in Wye Valley NHS Trust (WVT) in 2017 compared to an expected number of 1,079, which equates to 180 deaths more than expected. The resulting Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI) value of 1.17 was the fifth highest across 134 non-specialist acute NHS trust in England and was considered as being higher than expected.