Health inequalities

Poor lung health is a huge driver of inequality

People living in the poorest communities are currently seven times more likely to die from a lung condition. The government’s levelling up plans set ambitions to improve the health and living standards for everybody in the UK by 2030, but they don’t yet include enough plans to scale up lung health or invest in lung research.

Prevention is better than cure

Bridging this health gap will only be possible if politicians commit to preventing poor lung health in the first place. This means action to cut smoking rates, tackle air pollution, and address wider issues such as poor housing.

“Levelling up will fail if it does not fight to improve lung health,” says Sarah Woolnough, CEO.

Scaling up lung research funding

Levelling up also demands increasing public spending on respiratory research, especially in the North. Not only will this help save lives, it will create jobs and help grow the economy.

We need change

Over the next year we’ll be working with policy makers to make lung health a priority in levelling up plans, making the UK a safer, healthier and fairer place to live.

Read more: in the House Magazine

Inequalities have long been a striking feature of lung diseases in the UK. Of the many indignities associated with being poor, or relatively so, having increased risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or dying of lung cancer or pneumonia are among the worst. The tragedy of it is that we know quite a bit about what to do to prevent this needless suffering.”

Sir Michael Marmot, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London