Thousands of people could avoid an early death from one of the five most common killers:
A child born today should expect to live a longer, healthier life than ever before. Yet, a Government report, Living Well for Longer (PDF, 1.6Mb), blames the top five killers for more than 150,000 deaths a year among under-75s in England alone and the Department of Health estimates two-thirds of them are entirely avoidable.
This chart shows the premature death toll by illness. Heart disease and stroke are together referred to as cardiovascular disease.
More than one in three people will develop some form of cancer](https://www.your.md/condition/cancer) during their lifetime. Although there are more than 200 different types of cancer, lung , breast , prostate and [bowel cancer account for more than half of cases.
According to Cancer Research UK, an unhealthy lifestyle is the root cause of about a third of all cancers.
Smoking causes almost all lung cancer. Poor diet has been linked to bowel cancer, pancreatic cancer and oesophageal cancer . And heavy drinking has been implicated in the development of breast cancer.
While healthy lifestyle changes can prevent many cases of cancer, screening aims to drive down cancer cases even further.
Experts say most cases of premature death from heart disease are completely preventable.
Smoking, being overweight, having high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol, heavy drinking and physical inactivity are all key risk factors.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in England each year and the leading cause of disability.
High blood pressure is the main cause of stroke. Almost one in three people in England have high blood pressure and nearly half of them aren't receiving any treatment for the condition, says the British Heart Foundation.
Respiratory disease covers a variety of conditions ranging from asthma to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) one of the most common causes of death.
COPD is almost completely avoidable. Most cases (around 85%) are caused by smoking. The other 15% of cases are triggered by exposure to fumes, chemicals and dusts at work or, very occasionally, because of a rare genetic tendency to develop COPD called alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency.
Liver disease is on the increase. The disease develops silently and many people have no idea there's anything wrong until they develop liver failure and it's too late.
The three main causes of liver disease are heavy drinking, obesity and viral hepatitis (inflammation of the liver).
The British Liver Trust has more information on looking after your liver.
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.