Gunnedah's most deadly diseases revealed in new report

MATTER OF HEART: A national report has revealed the most common causes of death in Gunnedah. Photo: Barry Smith 200716BSB30
MATTER OF HEART: A national report has revealed the most common causes of death in Gunnedah. Photo: Barry Smith 200716BSB30

GUNNEDAH’S most deadly diseases have been revealed in a new report.

Heart disease was responsible for more than 17 per cent of all deaths in the Gunnedah Shire Council area in the last five years.

The town’s rate of heart related deaths was more than 58 per cent higher than the national average.

The figures come from a new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) which has compiled the most common causes of death in each council area from 2012 to 2016..

Heart attacks are by far the biggest cause of death Australia wide, and are the number one killer in almost every local government area in the country.

Coronary fatalities in Gunnedah accounted for three times as many as deaths as the next biggest killer which was dementia.

It was followed by pulmonary disease, lung cancer and stroke as the most common causes of death.

Gunnedah’s rate of lung cancer deaths was 25 per cent higher than the national average, while the town’s rate of other lung disease was 51 per cent greater.

“Cancer of unknown or ill-defined primary site” was the sixth-most common cause of death, 91 per cent higher than Australia-wide levels.

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The AIHW data show the median age of Australians who died between 2012 and 2016 was 78 for men and 84 for women.

Heart disease was the biggest killer for those aged between 45 and 64 and those over 75.

Heart attacks are a distinct second among those aged between 65 and 74, as that is the age you are most likely to succumb to lung cancer. Among ages 15 to 44, suicide was the most common cause of death, however suicide was not in the top-20 causes of death for Gunnedah.

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