New research has found a correlation between where you live in the United Kingdom and your risk of being hospitalized with and dying from a lung condition.

The residents of Blackpool and Liverpool were found to have a significantly higher likelihood of being hospitalized than the national average.

In 2020/21, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) accounted for the vast majority of the respiratory causes that led to the 549,349 deaths recorded in England.

Roughly one-third of annual hospital admissions are attributable to breathing problems.

Asthma and Lung UK conducted an analysis of hospital admissions and deaths due to lung conditions in the UK and found that Knowsley, Salford, Blackburn with Darwen, Liverpool and Blackpool, and Manchester had the highest rates.

The cheapest places to live were in York, Bracknell Forest, Barnet, Kensington and Chelsea, and West Sussex.

The charity reported that death rates and hospital admissions due to lung problems are higher in the North West than in the South.

Some of the worst problems, it said, can be found in places where there is both extreme poverty and heavy pollution.

Cigarette use tends to rise in economically depressed areas.

A campaign called “End the Lung Health Lottery” has been launched by Asthma and Lung UK to draw attention to what they call the “patchy care” that patients with lung conditions receive.

It claims that the death rate from lung conditions in Blackpool is more than two times higher than in more affluent areas like Richmond in London, and it urges the government to do something about this disparity.

“It’s appalling that people across the UK are struggling to breathe, are being rushed to hospital in an emergency, and that so many are dying avoidably from their lung conditions,” said Sarah Woolnough, the chief executive of the charity.

To quote one researcher: “We know that people in more economically deprived areas are more likely to have worse lung health, often having no choice but to live in poorer quality housing, and more polluted areas, with higher smoking rates. The lung health lottery is a problem that must be addressed head on.

To improve, UK authorities must tackle glaring disparities in lung health and guarantee the National Health Service (NHS) has adequate funding to support its hardworking employees.

“We must combat health inequality because people at risk for or living with lung conditions cannot simply move to improve their lung health.”

She went on to say, “Governments must ensure people living with a lung condition get an early diagnosis, have help quitting smoking, can breathe good quality air, and receive the right support and treatment to manage their condition well.”

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