England has outperformed the US and other UK countries in most areas of disease burden but lags behind Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands and Spain.
Public Health England (PHE) has published international comparisons of England and 22 other countries, using data from the 2016 Global Burden of Disease.
The data show that England’s health has improved over the last 30 years, but improvement in mortality rates has slowed in the last decade, which PHE attributes largely to slowing in the rate of improvement in cardiovascular disease mortality and to some extent cancer.
Compared with France and Spain, England had a 50 per cent higher rate of years of life lost due to ischaemic heart disease, while the rate for stroke was 50 per cent higher than Austria. There was a 60 per cent higher rate for lung cancer compared with Finland and Sweden and more than double the rate for COPD than Finland or France
In England, the top four causes of morbidity were back and neck pain, skin diseases, migraine and auditory and visual impairment. The data demonstrate an increase in morbidity due to falls.