While death is inevitable, many of the UK’s common causes of death are avoidable.

Indeed, according to the government, there are 150,000 premature deaths a year in England alone.

This means those passing away before the age of 75 years.

Worryingly, the Department of Health estimate that two-thirds of these deaths are avoidable.

High blood pressureGETTY: Life expectancy: High blood pressure can cause heart disease

According to the NHS, these are the common killers of early death and how to avoid them.


One in three people will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime.

However, according to Cancer Research UK, an unhealthy lifestyle accounts for a third of all cases.

Factors such as smoking, poor diet and heavy drinking have been found to cause some of the more than 200 different types of cancer.


Life expectancy: Being overweight can raise risk of a number of conditions

Heart disease

Experts believe premature death from heart disease is entirely preventable.

Smoking, being overweight, having high blood pressure and cholesterol, heavy drinking and physical inactivity can all up your risk.


It’s the third leading cause of death in England.

According to the Stroke Association, of the 150,000 people who have one each year, up to 10,000 cases are preventable.

High blood pressure is the main cause, but half of those suffering in England aren’t receiving treatment, according to the British Heart Foundation.


Life expectancy: Smoking accounts for 85 per cent of COPD cases

Lung disease

A common type, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is completely avoidable.

Around 85 per cent of cases are caused by smoking, while the rest are mostly triggered by fumes, chemicals and dusts at work.

Liver disease

It’s on the rise, with a 20 per cent increase in England over the last decade.

The three main causes are heavy drinking, obesity and viral hepatitis – inflammation of the liver.