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Hospital admissions linked to smoking higher for men

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The rate of hospital admissions for smoking related illnesses in England are twice as high for men as they are for women, according to the latest NHS data.

The data, which looks at adults aged 35 and over, found that  6% of all male hospital admissions were linked to smoking in 2013-14, compared to 3% for women.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre, which published the data, said this represented 285,000 admissions among men and 169,000 admissions for women.

“[The proportion of adults smoking in England] has remained largely unchanged in recent years”

Statistics on Smoking, England 2015 report

It found that cancers caused by smoking were the most frequently cited diseases linked to smoking-related admissions.

In particular, upper respiratory site cancers occurred more among smoking men than their female counterparts, with 72% of admissions for these diseases being attributable to smoking for men, compared with 48% for women.

Meanwhile, around a third of admissions for kidney and renal pelvis cancers were attributable to smoking for men, but female admissions for these cancers were linked to smoking in just 8% of cases.

Overall, the report accompanying the data – called Statistics on Smoking, England 2015 – found the number of people aged 35 and over being admitted to hospital for illnesses caused by smoking had increased in the past decade.

In 2013-14 there were over 1.6 million admissions – around 4,500 per day on average – compared to 1.4 million admissions 2003-4, which equates to about 3,800 a day.

“[This year’s statistics] continue the steady year-on-year decline in the percentage of women smoking at the time of delivery”

Statistics on Smoking, England 2015 report

However, the number of deaths linked to smoking has declined over the past decade.

In 2013, 17% of all adult deaths aged 35 and over were estimated to be caused by smoking compared to 19% in 2003.

In total, in 2013, 19% of people in England aged 16 and over were smokers, a rate that although slightly less than 2012, has “remained largely unchanged” in recent years, compared to 26% a decade earlier in 2003, states the report.

Unemployed people were almost twice as likely to smoke, compared to those in employment, students or retired people.

Smoking among 11 to 15 year olds hit a record low in 2013, with just 22% reporting having tried it at least once, compared to 42% in 2003.

The report also noted a slight improvement in the proportion of mothers who smoked during pregnancy.

In 2013-14, 12% of mothers were recorded as smokers at the time of delivery, slightly less than the 12.7% in 2012-13.

“[This] continues the steady year-on-year decline in the percentage of women smoking at the time of delivery from 15.1% in 2006-07,” added the report.

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