Suicide rises but London still has the lowest rates in England

despairThe number of people committing suicide is at its highest this century.  The latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows that 5,122 people took their own lives in 2014, the most since 1999.

551 of them were in London, where the rate of suicide went up by 4% on the previous year.  But the longer term trend is down and the capital has the lowest suicide rates of any region in England and Wales.

Men are more than 3 times more likely than women to kill themselves.  The general rate of suicide in the London is 8.3 per 100,000 people. For men it is 13.2 and for women 3.8. For both genders, London has the lowest rates.

Suicide rate national

The figures include all people over 15 who are officially recorded by a coroner to have committed suicide, or whose death has been caused by an undetermined injury.  The ONS combines these to get an accurate suicide rate as research has shown that most of the undetermined deaths are likely to be suicides.

The increase in London between 2013 to 2014 was largely caused by higher numbers in Southwark, Barnet, Haringey and Croydon.

The City of London has by far the highest rate, but this is based on a very small number of people. Outside the City, Haringey had the highest rate in 2014, followed by Islington, Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Hammersmith and Fulham.

Suicide rate map

 

Rates are a lot lower in outlying boroughs including Harrow, Ealing, Hounslow, Richmond and Kingston.

Source data

See also

Low drug-related death rates hide middle-aged heroin problem

Anxious, unhappy, dissatisfied with life? Perhaps you live in Hackney or Barking?

Well-being and wealth – how South West London soars ahead of the rest

For help and more information about suicide contact Samaritans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flu blamed for winter deaths hitting 15-year high

shutterstock_146517545-1

Photo: Alexander Raths ┃Shutterstock.com

There were 4,000 excess winter deaths in London in 2014/15, the highest rate for 15 years. And much the blame is being placed on the failure of the flu vaccine to protect the vulnerable from a particularly nasty strain of the virus.

Death rates in winter are higher than in summer months, particularly for the elderly and vulnerable. The numbers are measured according to an index called the Excess Winter Mortality. This calculates the rate of deaths above the average for non-winter months.

The winter 2014/15 was the worse since 1999/2000 when there were 5,870 excess deaths recorded. Although the figures are bad for last winter, London fared better than most other regions of England and Wales. The rate of excess deaths in London was 26.3%. Only the Wales, the West Midland and Yorkshire and Humberside recorded lower rates.

Winter Death index regions

Looking at the detailed figures according to age ranges show that while London had lower rates of death for people below pensionable age and those 75-84 it had rates slightly higher than England and Wales for the 64-75 age group and fractionally higher in the over 85s.

winter deaths london ages

National figures show that women were more vulnerable than men in all the age categories above 65. Men had a higher rate in the 0-64 group.

The impact of the flu is apparent in the cause of death data. According to the Office for National Statistics the proportion of people dying of respiratory diseases was 78% above the average for non-winter months. In the over 85s it was nearly twice the rate.

Doctors are hoping that the apparent failure of the flu vaccine to protect people last winter does not push down immunisation rates this winter, as reported by Urbs.

Source data

See also

Health and wealth – an East/West divide when it comes to a flu jab

98,000 not claiming their pension in a tale of two Londons

Women in London will live longer than anywhere in the UK

Suicide rate lowest in 20 years and lowest in England and Wales

homeless 2London has the lowest rate of suicide of any region of England and Wales but the figures are far from even across the capital and some boroughs have rates that are above the national average.

The latest data available from the Office for National Statistics shows that in 2013 516 Londoners over the age of 15 killed themselves. That is a rate of 7.9 per 100,000 people. This is the lowest rate in the capital in the past 20 years. The highest rate in England is in the North East, and in Wales the rate is double that of London.

Suicide regional rates

The national figures reveal that 3 times more men than women commit suicide. The majority of men killed themselves through suffocation. This is also the most common method among women, but women are more likely than men to poison or drown themselves.

An age breakdown into groups of 5 years shows that people aged 45-49 have the highest rate of suicide. It is rare in those under 20 but climbs steadily up to the 45-49 age group.  Rates drop significantly at retirement age of 65 and only rise again in those over 80.

Because the actual numbers are small we have looked at averages over the past 3 years of data to examine rates at borough level. While the City of London has by far the highest rate the actual numbers are so small given the low population of the area that comparison of rates is not reliable.

In the 32 boroughs, Westminster has the highest rate at 12 per 100,000 people followed by Hammersmith and Fulham with 11.5. These proportions exceed the rate for England for the same period of 10.4 per 100,000 residents. The lowest rates are in Harrow, Greenwich and Newham.

Suicide london map

 

Source data

See also

Low drug-related deaths rates hide middle-aged heroin problem

Low ranking on infant deaths puts London behind other cities

For help and more information: Samaritans

 

 

 

 

 

 

Low drug-related death rates hide middle-aged heroin problem

heroinLondon has the lowest rate of deaths caused by drug abuse for any region of England and Wales. Last year 226 people in the capital died as a result of taking drugs. Most of them were men and most of them were the result of an unintentional overdose.

In the early 90s London had the worst record in the country for drug related deaths. The number of people killed reached a peak at the end of the 90s.

Drugs death london

During that period rates in other regions of the country began to rise, particularly in the North West of England. In the 2000’s the rate in London began to fall gently and since 2011 London has had the lowest mortality rate. Last year there were 25.4 deaths per million people in the capital. In the North West of England the rate is over 60 per million and in the North East nearly 70. The North East has seen the biggest increase over 20 years. In 1993 its mortality rate for drug misuse was just 14 per million.

drugs national

The data is based on registered deaths where drug misuse is defined as the cause of death. The data is collected by the ONS. The national figures give some surprising insights into the demographics of drug abuse.

The group with the highest death rate through drug misuse are not young people, as might be assumed, but people 40-49. The number of heroin and morphine related deaths in this group for 2014 is the highest on record. People aged 30-39 have the second highest death rate. People in their 20s have a lower mortality for drug misuse than those in their 50s and 60s.

Drugs deaths age

Men are 2.5 times more likely than women to die from drug misuse. 79% of the male deaths were unintentional. The rate for women is slightly lower at 69% and women show a greater level of intentional self-harm.

The national data also shows a substantial increase in the number of deaths caused by heroin and morphine which have risen by two thirds between 2012 and 2014. Deaths caused by cocaine use have also increased.

The detailed data at local authority level is grouped in batches of 3 years. The picture for London for 2012-14 shows that the highest deaths rates are in Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea and Islington. The lowest rates are in the outer boroughs of Merton, Hillingdon and Enfield.

Drugs death map

 

Source data

See also

Violence, disruption and drugs – why 20,000 pupils were excluded from school last year

Low ranking on infant deaths puts London behind other cities

hLondon has a higher infant death rate than many other wealthy international capitals, according to a study by Save the Children.

As part of a wide assessment of infant mortality the charity looked at urban areas across the globe, including 25 cities in wealthy developed countries.  London came 19th in the list of 25 that was topped by Prague.  The infant death rate in London is 4 in every 1000 live births.  In Prague, Stockholm and Oslo it is half that.

Infant mortality

Washington DC came bottom of the ranking with a death rate of 7.9 infants per thousand.  Within the US capital there is a wide discrepancy with the death rate 10 times higher in the poorest neighbourbood as the richest one.

Urban populations are growing worldwide, and while this has led to better survival rates for children under 5, according to Save the Children, there is a growing gap between urban rich and urban poor.  Survival rates for the poorest children in city slum areas are as bad or worse than those for rural areas.

State of the World’s Mothers – the Urban Disadvantage