This section includes data on the total number of deaths, standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) for selected causes by gender and some detail of deaths in infancy and childhood.


Last updated: 2017-05-05 12:05:00
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1. Number of deaths

There are normally between 1,350 and 1,500 deaths annually in Middlesbrough.  The standardised mortality ratio (SMR) has tended to fall for more than ten years but remains higher than England.

Annual number of deaths and SMR trend, Middlesbrough

Source: NHS Digital


The number of deaths by underlying cause shows cancer as the leading cause of death in Middlesbrough, accounting for 29% of deaths in 2014.  Circulatory diseases (26%) and respiratory diseases (15%) were the second and third highest causes of death.  Ischaemic heart disease, including acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) caused over 150 deaths, with lung cancer causing 99 deaths.

Deaths by underlying cause, Middlesbrough, 2014

Compared with national proportions, more people in Middlesbrough than expected die from respiratory diseases, particularly pneumonia and COPD, and lung cancer.

Cause of death by proportion, Middlesbrough and England & Wales, 2014


Last updated: 10/05/17

2. Standardised mortality ratios (SMR)

In the charts below, deaths in Middlesbrough are compared with England, with the England rate defined as 100 for each cause.  The local rate is then expressed as a ratio compared with England.  A standardised mortality ratio (SMR) higher than 100 indicates higher mortality than England and an SMR of 150 would show 50% higher mortality.  Likewise, SMRs below 100 indicate lower mortality than England.  Solid bars show where the difference is statistically significant.

In Middlesbrough, several causes of death for females have SMRs, close to 200, showing that about twice as many women are dying from these conditions locally than if England average rates were seen.  Three of the five highest SMRs are common to both males and females:

  • suicide & injury undetermined;
  • lung cancer; and
  • bronchitis, emphysema & other COPD.

There are no SMRs for the selected conditions which are significantly lower than England.

SMRs in Middlesbrough, selected causes, 2012-14


The following table shows the number of deaths in Middlesbrough for the three years 2012 to 2014, for selected causes.  It shows cancer as the causing the most deaths, with lung cancer having a high burden.  There were about 20 deaths per year from suicide and injury undetermined during this period.

Number of deaths by cause, Middlesbrough, 2012-14


Last updated: 16/05/17

3. Mortality in infancy and childhood

Mortality in infancy (2011) and childhood (2010-2012)


The rate of infant deaths in Middlesbrough fluctuates but the overall trend is downwards.  In 2013-15, there were, on average, 9 infant deaths annually.  The gap between the Middlesbrough trend and England appears to have reduced since the mid 1990s.  The Middlesbrough infant mortality rate is not significantly different from England.

Infant mortality, 3-year rolling average, Middlesbrough


Last updated: 05/05/17