Tower Hamlets ‘worst affected’ by killer diseases in London

Tower Hamlets is the borough worst affected by a number of killer diseases that are the main causes death for Londoners.

Data released by the Office for National Statistics and requested by the group Clean Air in London reveal that Tower Hamlets had the highest number of cases of the capital’s most fatal diseases in 2012.

The borough was rated the worst affected for ischaemic heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease, with 130.5 men and 54.8 women per 100,000 population affected.

Tower Hamlets was also the worst affected for cerebrovascular diseases, which affect the brain’s blood vessels, for men and women, and for malignant neoplasm of colon, sigmoid, rectum and anus for women.

A spokeswoman for Tower Hamlets Council said that premature death rates are linked to income levels and poverty, and that Tower Hamlets has some of the highest levels of deprivation in the country.

She said: “We have amongst the highest death rates from heart disease, stroke, cancer and chronic lung disease.

“The council has prioritised programmes which will have a significant impact on addressing the risk factors associated with these diseases, which include smoking, obesity, poor diet, lack of physical activity and alcohol misuse.”

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She said stop smoking services have achieved some of the highest quit rates in London, while investment in high quality primary care services and health check programmes have meant the borough has among the best levels of blood pressure and cholesterol control in the country.