Adults – Getting the Balance Right

Many behaviours that can influence adult health first emerge during childhood and early adulthood, with smoking, diet, alcohol use, exercise, stress and sexual behaviour all having a strong influence on current and future health.  The early detection of serious illness and long-term health conditions is vital in minimising future harm, and access and good uptake of health checks and screening is important.  There were 8,059 deaths in Devon in 2010, of which 2,121 were below the age of 75.  Premature mortality is more likely in more deprived areas, along with poorer uptake of screening and health checks.  Figure 5 highlights that a large proportion of these deaths relate to a small number of conditions.  It is also evident, as highlighted in the box in Figure 5, that many of these deaths are preventable through improved detection of disease and encouraging and supporting healthy lifestyles.