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[Editorial] Harnessing primary care to reduce avoidable mortality

In 2014, almost a quarter of the 500 000 deaths among people aged less than 74 years in England and Wales could have been avoided, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics on June 29. The report used a new definition of avoidable mortality that combined preventable deaths (mainly neoplasms) and deaths from conditions that were amenable to treatment (mainly cardiovascular disease) and was standardised to the European population. Premature mortality resulted in an average loss of 23 years of life for adults and 72 years for children, in whom accidental injury was the leading cause of death.