Fifth of Jersey's population die before the age of 65

Pint of beer and a cigarette
Image caption Dr Geller said reducing levels of smoking and drinking was a priority

One in five people in Jersey dies before the age of 65, according to the annual report of the island's medical officer of health.

In her report Dr Rosemary Geller proposed a number of measures to prevent islanders dying young.

The main killers were identified as lung, breast and bowel cancers and heart and liver disease.

She said the priority of the measures would be to reduce the effects of smoking and drinking.

Poor diet

Dr Geller said: "Lung cancer is the biggest cause of early death and 95% of lung cancer is due to smoking, alcohol is contributing to the liver disease, some of the cancers, and there's suicide of course.

"People taking their lives is often related to alcohol and also to depression so those are all issues to tackle and of course screening programmes are important to focus on some of the cancers that we can't actually prevent."

The figures released in the report showed men were more likely to die young than women and the main causes of ill health in Jersey were tobacco, untreated high blood pressure, alcohol and poor diet.

Dr Geller said they had made a lot of progress on smoking and alcohol, the levels of both having dropped in recent years, but needed "to go a lot further".

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