PEOPLE in Northumberland were more likely to die from respiratory illnesses than the rest of England in 2021, new figures show.

Thousands of people die from lung conditions every year – including flu, pneumonia and lung disease.

New analysis by the charity Asthma + Lung UK lays bare the inequality in deaths between different areas of the UK.

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Office for National Statistics figures reveal there were 97 deaths from respiratory illness for every 100,000 people in Northumberland, meaning the area has more than the 94 for England as a whole.

These figures have been standardised to account for age differences across different areas.

Northumberland ranked 70th in England for deaths from lung conditions and 107th across the UK as a whole.

Sarah Woolnough, chief executive of Asthma + Lung UK, said: "We know that people in more deprived areas are more likely to have worse lung health, often with no choice but to live in poorer quality housing, more polluted areas with higher smoking rates."

Separate figures, also from the ONS, show 11.8 per cent of adults in Northumberland are smokers – lower than the UK average of 13.3 per cent.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "We’ve set ambitious clean air targets to reduce the health impacts of air pollution – ensuring reductions are made where concentrations are highest – and we’re committed to delivering on our Smokefree ambition by 2030, with smoking rates in England currently at an all-time low."