People living in two parts of Scotland are among the most likely to die from lung conditions, according to a new analysis.
The charity Asthma and Lung UK looked at deaths and hospital admissions for people suffering conditions such as asthma, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition which is mostly caused by smoking.
Analysis of data by the charity – excluding specific deaths from lung cancer and admissions for lung cancer – shows that Inverclyde and North Ayrshire were among the places with the highest rates of emergency hospital admissions and deaths for lung conditions in the UK.
Blackpool and Liverpool are also among the worst, with the charity pointing to a north-south divide when it comes to poor lung health.
It said some of the biggest issues are in regions with high levels of deprivation, and also higher levels of air pollution. Increased smoking rates in more deprived areas also play a role.
Asthma and Lung UK has launched an End the Lung Health Lottery campaign to highlight what it says is the patchy care of people with lung conditions.
Sarah Woolnough, chief executive of the charity, said: “It’s appalling that people across the UK are struggling to breathe, are being rushed to hospital in an emergency and that so many are dying avoidably from their lung conditions.
“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, and more polluted areas, with higher smoking rates. We need to tackle the lung health lottery head on.
“Governments must ensure people living with a lung condition get an early diagnosis, have help quitting smoking, can breathe good quality air and receive the right support and treatment to manage their lung condition well.”