Background: To provide information on the burden of bronchiectasis in England and Wales, we have examined trends in mortality using death certificate data available from the Office of National Statistics.
Methods: We extracted data on deaths due to non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis for 2001-2007 inclusive and stratified deaths by sex and age group. We used Poisson regression to compare mortality rates.
Results: Between 2001 and 2007, 5745 bronchiectasis related deaths were registered in England and Wales. When standardized to the 2007 population, this showed a rise in absolute numbers from 797 (2001) to 908 (2007). Statistical analyses suggested that the mortality rate is currently increasing at 3%/year (p < 0.001). Mortality rates were similar between men and women but there was a strong statistical interaction between age group and year (p < 0.001) Rates were increasing in the two oldest age groups but falling in the three youngest groups.
Discussion: Currently just under 1000 people die from bronchiectasis each year in England and Wales. We found the number of deaths to be increasing at 3% per year. Although overall mortality was increasing, rates were increasing in older groups but falling in the younger groups. These mortality rates may underestimate the burden of disease from bronchiectasis as lack of knowledge about the disease may lead to underreporting. These are also mortality rather than incidence data and may reflect improvements in treatment. Bronchiectasis therefore remains a significant concern. Clinical provision will potentially need to increase in order to care for this patient group.
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