Table of contents

Theme 3: Prevent early death and increase years of healthy life

Summary :: Our Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy :: Theme 3: Prevent early death and increase years of healthy life

Over recent decades public health and improved health care have led to dramatic reductions in the number of deaths. For example the mortality rate from heart attacks in Medway fell 79% from 160 to 33 per 100,000 between 1995 and 2014[1]. About half of this reduction was due to improved health care and half was due to public health measures, such as reductions in smoking.

The current leading causes of early death and illness in Medway include cancer, circulatory disease (e.g heart attacks, stroke and heart failure) and respiratory disease, conditions that share many common causes. Prevention strategies are needed to reduce the numbers of people who will develop these conditions in the future. Early diagnosis can improve outcomes in some diseases and strategies are needed to promote early diagnosis through raised awareness and efficient diagnostic pathways.

Increasing years of healthy life will include improving care and treatment for those with mental health problems and long term health conditions such as diabetes and epilepsy. Most people with long-term conditions have a single condition and can be helped to manage their condition at relatively low cost. It is important that effective interventions are provided systematically and equitably across the population if health inequalities are to be reduced. However, as people age and if prevention and treatment are not optimal, more people begin to develop other conditions. As the number and severity of these conditions increases the complexity and cost of managing them becomes much greater. Addressing these conditions requires well-integrated health and social care systems to provide treatment and support for those who have the conditions.


[1]   HSCIC Indicator Portal. Mortality from acute myocardial infarction: directly standardised rate, all ages, annual trend, MFP