Nearly a quarter of male deaths in the Bega Valley Shire could potentially have been avoided, new data from a Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) study reveals.
The AIHW's top 20 causes of deaths in the Bega Valley Local Government Area in the 2017 calendar year is dominated by a raft of cancers and other illnesses.
But 23 per cent of the 201 male deaths recorded were classed as 'potentially avoidable'.
Skin cancer is one of the main potentially avoidable causes of death, while hypertensive heart and renal disease and ischaemic heart disease are a couple of the circulatory system diseases also on the list.
Other avoidable causes of death include fires and burns, transport accidents, assault, events of undermined intent and exposure to forces of nature, to name a few of the 46 listed.
According to the data, 382 people died in the Bega Valley in 2017 and the median age was 78 years old.
Thirty-four per cent per cent of these deaths were classed as premature (under 75) and 17 per cent were deemed potentially avoidable.
Of these deaths, 201 were males averaging 78 years old while the average age for females is 85.
Death data is used to examine patterns and trends to help explain differences and changes in the health of the Australian population. Causes of death are documented on a death certificate.
The statistics are based on the underlying cause of death only.
The leading cause of death in Bega Valley from 2013 to 2017 was coronary heart disease, followed by dementia and Alzheimer's disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cerebrovascular disease (like stroke).
In NSW, 52,778 people died in 2017 with a median age of 82. Just under a third of these deaths were deemed premature.
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