Rockhampton’s death rate among Queensland’s highest

ROCKHAMPTON residents are dying at a higher rate than the Queensland average, with figures showing the shire has one of the worst death rates in the state.

Figures have revealed a general downward trend in the state's death rates.

Australian Bureau of Statistics showed Queensland had a 5% drop in the death rate in a decade.

In 2003, 6.3 out of every 1000 people died.

Fast forward 10 years to the most recent figures and the rate has dropped and 6 people out of every 1000 died.

The rate was much higher in the Rockhampton local government area.

In 2003, 7.5 people died for every 1000 in the population. In 2013 it was 7.3 for every 1000 people.

Rockhampton's death rate may have decreased slightly in the past decade but it still remains among the worst 20 rates in the state.

Out of a total 46 death rates on the ladder, Rockhampton was among the worst, sitting at 31 in 2013.

But the death rate in neighbouring shire Banana is much lower.

The most recent figures showed 6.2 out of every 1000 people died and that was in the better half of the state's death rates.

Rural Health Alliance staff said there was still a stark difference in death rates between regional areas and the city.

In 2013, 5.4 people died in Brisbane for every 1000 in the population.

This was among the lowest 15 rates 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 generally had more elderly residents, more people with a disability and more families with lower incomes.

Queensland 2013

8793 people died from cancer, including 29 from benign cancers

910 died from a stroke

466 died from influenza/pneumonia

341 people died from transport accidents

311 people died from falls

214 died from alcoholic liver disease

201 people died from accidental poisoning from noxious substances

52 died from viral hepatitis

50 people died from obesity

11 died from HIV

10 people died from malnutrition

7 died from sleeping disorders

6 people died from being struck by a thrown, projected or falling object

3 people died from accidental suffocation in bed

2 people died from contact with poisonous animals or plants

2 people died from unintentional cut, puncture, perforation or hemorrhage during surgery/medical care

Unusual deaths

Uncommon ways to die, listed in ABS Causes of Death:

Coalworker's lung disease

Nail disorders

Hair colour and hair shaft abnormalities

Exposure to noise

Crushed, pushed or stepped on by crowd or human stampede

Victim of lightning

Contact with scorpions

Prolonged stay in weightless environment

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