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Acute lower respiratory tract infections (acute LRTI) statistics

Medical definitions of acute LRTI vary, but in this presentation we include acute bronchitis and bronchiolitis. Pneumonia is presented on a separate page.

These statistics on acute lower respiratory tract infections (acute LRTI) in the UK were compiled as part of our Respiratory Health of the Nation project by teams at St George’s, University of London, Nottingham University and Imperial College London.

Deaths from acute LRTI

How many people died from acute LRTI in the UK in 2012?

In 2012, 1,589 people in the UK died from acute LRTI – 0.3 per cent of all deaths and 1.4 per cent of deaths from lung disease.

UK deaths from acute LRTI compared with other lung diseases, 2012


How many people in the UK die from acute LRTI compared with the rest of the world?

In 2001–10, approximately 13 people per million died from acute LRTI each year in the UK.

The UK is in the top 25 countries for deaths from acute LRTI, above most other European countries, except Malta, Ireland, France, Belgium and Portugal.

Number of people per million of population by country who died from acute LRTI, 2001–10


How many males and females died from acute LRTI in 2012?

In 2012, of the 1,589 people who died from acute LRTI 619 were males and 970 were females.

The total number of deaths was down from 2,911 in 2008.


How old were the people who died from acute LRTI in 2012?

In 2012, of the 1,589 people who died from acute LRTI:

  • 25 were aged under 15;
  • 59 were aged 15–64; and
  • 1,505 were aged 65 and above.

How many males and females died from acute LRTI in each UK region in 2008–12?

Across the UK in 2008–12, 4,774 males and 7,037 females died from acute LRTI.

England: Death rates were notably lower in Yorkshire and the Humber, the East of England and the South West compared with the UK generally.

Scotland: Death rates were markedly higher than the rest of the UK, but with no significant difference between males and females.

Wales: Death rates were similar to rates for the UK generally.

Northern Ireland: Death rates were higher among males but similar to UK rates generally among females.

Acute LRTI mortality ratios by UK regions, males and females, 2008–12


Emergency hospital admissions

How do rates of emergency admission to hospital for acute LRTI vary across the UK, 2008–12?

England: There were higher rates of emergency admission in the North East and North West of England, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the West Midlands compared with the UK generally, with no significant difference between males and females.

Admission rates were notably lower for the East Midlands, East of England, London, the South East and South West – except for the East Midlands in 2012, when the number was similar to admission rates for the UK generally. 

Scotland: There were higher rates of emergency admission compared with the UK generally, with numbers similar for males and females.

Wales: There were higher rates of emergency admission compared with the UK generally, with numbers similar for males and females.

Northern Ireland: There were higher rates of emergency admission compared with the UK generally, with numbers similar for males and females.

Acute LRTI hospital admission ratios, males and females, in each UK region, 2008–12