Figure 18: The top causes of morbidity in the South East – Global Burden of Disease
Global burden of disease
Thames Valley has an ageing population with
population growth in the 65+ years age groups where
more people can be expected to be living with long
term conditions and multiple morbidities, making it
important to understand the causes of disability in
the population. The global burden of disease looks at
disability adjusted life years (DALY), an indicator that
measures the years of life lost prematurely and those
lived in less than full health.
The figure below, also from the Global Burden of Disease study shows the DALYs accounted for by risk factors and the conditions that
these relate to. The highest number of DALYs in men are accounted for by dietary risks but the second highest number of DALYs accounted
for by tobacco use even though smoking rates are falling and lower in Thames Valley than nationally. In women, the highest number of
DALYs are associated with obesity, with tobacco use remaining in third place, requiring sustained action.
Figure 17: DALYs attributable to behavioural risk and disease area
Figure 16: DALYs attributable to behavioural risks, South East of England, both sexes
The chart shows the conditions that contribute to living in less than full health in the South East, with the size of the
box (area) proportional to the magnitude of the problem (proportion of all DALYs lost). Shading with darker colours
within the box shows the proportion of those DALYs for the condition that could be prevented by modifying risk
factors. While substantial proportions of Ischaemic Heart Disease, Stroke and Lung and Colorectal cancers are
preventable all of alcohol and drug related conditions are preventable.
Risk factors for disease
Exploring these risk factors within Thames Valley, there is variation across these with generally Slough and Reading having adverse
levels of risk factors in their populations. These risk factors are important drivers of ill health and even where local areas compare
favourably with England they contribute substantially to ill health, morbidity in the population, and service use within the NHS and
social care locally.
Figure 19: Selected risk factors by local authority
Figure 20: Indicators for smoking associated morbidity
Risk factors for disease continued