Health commissioners for seaside retirement communities are being urged to adopt the latest guidance on the treatment of lung disease to buttress themselves against a predicted surge in the cost of the illness in these areas.
Research by information services company Experian used data sources including hospital episode statistics, the Health Survey for England and indices of multiple deprivation. It predicts the cost of treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease will rise by more than 10 per cent in the next four years in some primary care trust areas.
The research found the cost of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease admissions across England will rise by 0.5 per cent to £4,392 per 1,000 people between 2011 and 2015.
The disease has historically been most costly in urban areas, but significant growth is expected in retirement hotspots.
The cost of COPD will rise by more than 5 per cent in the Isle of Wight, North East Lincolnshire and Torbay.
Experian director of health Emily Sparks said: “Areas associated with higher rates of increase in COPD admissions are mostly identified as retirement destinations in coastal locations, predominantly in the west, south and east of Britain. Our model suggests that an ageing population with more established residents have an associated impact on COPD admission rates.”
The government last month launched a strategy to tackle the disease, which is the fifth biggest killer in the UK.
The strategy said everyone with COPD or asthma should have a care planning discussion with a healthcare professional to personalise their care and identify problems.
British Lung Foundation head of national projects Katherine Leach said: “Stalling will only exacerbate the problem so we are urging PCTs in these areas to adopt the recommendations set out in the government’s recently published COPD outcomes strategy to help reduce admissions.”