Locals dying at a higher rate than the rest of the state
LISMORE, Richmond Valley, Kyogle and Ballina residents are dying at a higher rate than the NSW average.
Figures have revealed an increase in the death rate across many of the region's local government areas, with Ballina's death rate ranking among the 20 worst in the state.
This is despite a general downward trend in death rates across NSW.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showed an increase in the number of deaths per head of population in areas, including Kyogle and Ballina, within a decade.
Ballina had the highest rate, with 10.4 people dying for every 1000 in the population in 2013.
It was 9.3 deaths for every 1000 people in 2003.
These rates were much higher than the NSW average.
Overall, the state had a 2% drop in the death rate in the decade.
In 2013, which are the most recent figures available, 6.8 people in NSW died for every 1000 in the population.
Lismore and Kyogle's death rate of 7.5 and 7.9 respectively were higher than the state's average.
But Byron was in the green as it was below the state's overall figures, with its death rate showing 6.5 people dying for every 1000 in the population. Out of 76 rankings, this was 24th lowest.
Rural Health Alliance staff said there was still a stark difference in death rates between regional areas and the city.
In 2013, 3.6 people died in Sydney for every 1000 in the population.
This was the equal third lowest rate in the state.
Rural Health Alliance chief executive Gordon Gregory said the further towns were from a city, the more disadvantaged the population, especially when it came to health.
"The very reason for the Rural Health Alliance's existence is because there remains a gap," he said.
Mr Gregory said regional and rural areas like the Northern Rivers generally had more elderly residents, more people with a disability and more families with lower incomes.
In NSW in 2013:
15,069 died from cancer; 34 of these were benign
1635 died from a stroke
755 died from influenza/pneumonia
431 people died from falls
400 people died from transport accidents
364 people died from accidental poisoning from noxious substances
288 died from alcoholic liver disease
121 died from viral hepatitis
79 people died from obesity
26 people died from malnutrition
24 died from HIV
11 died from sleeping disorders
11 people died from being struck by a thrown, projected or falling object
5 people died from accidental suffocation in bed
About 4 people died from contact with poisonous animals or plants
4 people died from unintentional cut, puncture, perforation or haemorrhage during surgical and medical care
2 people died of mosquito-borne viral fevers
- APN NEWSDESK