OUR VIEW: Time to start looking after ourselves more

It was scary reading the statistics released in a new report that show the many ways people across the western region are dying. 

While the report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare looks at data from a few years ago. 

We are assuming things haven’t changed that much in the past few years when it comes to the top 20 causes by local government area, though hoping we are wrong. 

For the current Dubbo Regional Council area we are looking at the data for the former Western Plains Regional Council - what we were known as when the Dubbo and Wellington councils first emerged. 

And from the looks of it, we aren’t a healthy bunch. 

It was shocking to see that the number of deaths from lung disease across our local government area is more than 70 per cent higher than the national mortality rate

Another of the biggest killers for our region was heart disease. 

There were 38 deaths recorded during the five-year period the statistics highlight. It’s the equivalent of 11.7 per cent of all deaths and we want to say that’s about 38 too many.

The stark difference in the Western Plains, when compared to the national mortality rate, was much higher rates of death by lung disease, heart failure, kidney failure, and diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue.

Lung disease accounted for 6.3 per cent of all deaths with 128 in total, however, this was 71 per cent higher than the national rate.

Heart failure killed 62 people (three per cent of deaths) in the Western Plains. This was 75 per cent higher than the national rate. Kidney failure killed 52 people (2.5 per cent of the mortality rate) and diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue killed 31 people (1.5 per cent) – both were more than double Australia’s mortality rate.

Looking at these stats we are seeing a trend – higher than the national rate. 

There are many things within our community that may affect these statistics, lifestyle choices, heritage, working conditions.

But there are also many programs and support offered within the community that can also help us turn these statistics around – you just have to ask your local GP and they will be able to point you in the right direction. 

With these results we urge people please look after your body, and we hope, in another five years time