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Cancer/Heart Disease (Mortality Rates)

Volume 453: debated on Tuesday 28 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her Department’s press release of 27 September, entitled Mortality Rates from Cancer and Heart Disease Improve ref. 2006/0317, how her Department reached the figures of (a) 50,000 lives saved from the reduction in cancer mortality rates since 1996 and (b) 150,000 lives saved from the reduction in cardiovascular disease mortality rate since 1996; and if she will estimate how many lives were saved from the reduction in (i) cancer and (ii) cardiovascular disease mortality rates between (A) 1973 to 1978 and (B) 1978 to 1996. (101687)

Lives saved is an assessment of the cumulative effect of year-on-year reductions to the numbers of deaths in a specific age group and from a specific cause of death. In this case, it relates to deaths from circulatory disease and cancer at ages under 75.

It is calculated by subtracting from the number of deaths that occurred in the first year of the period, the number of deaths registered in each subsequent year, and then totalling the differences.

An estimate of the lives saved over the other time periods requested is as follows:

Lives saved at ages under 75

Persons aged under 75

Lives saved

Circulatory disease (100-199)

Neoplasms (C00-C97)

1973-78 (6 years)



1978-1996 (19 years)




Due to the different length of the time periods involved, the figures are not comparable with each other, or with the estimates for the period 1996 to 2005.