More than 100 people in the Forest of Dean died due to respiratory diseases in 2022-23, new figures show.

It comes as RADAR analysis of the data exposes stark inequality across England, with a higher rate of respiratory illness tracking with deprivation levels.

The charity Asthma + Lung UK said this was "appalling but not surprising", and called on the new Labour Government to invest in smoking cessation services, implement new air pollution targets, and improve diagnosis and treatment of lung conditions.

Office for Health Improvements and Disparities data shows 107 people in the Forest of Dean died due to respiratory illness in 2022.

This meant there were 96 deaths per 100,000 people in the area – below the national average of 107 per 100,000 people.

Sarah MacFadyen, head of policy at Asthma + Lung UK, said improved lung disease outcomes will help Labour reduce the gap in life expectancy between people living in the richest and poorest regions.

She said: "It's vital the new Government follows through on its commitment to reduce inequalities by urgently bringing forward the Tobacco and Vapes Bill to phase out smoking over time, alongside investment in smoking cessation services.

"We also need to see new legal targets for air pollution levels and action to improve diagnosis and treatment for lung conditions."

The data lays bare the inequality across England, as areas with the greatest deprivation levels have higher rates of respiratory deaths.

Just one of the 10 areas with the highest rates of respiratory deaths is ranked outside the top 25 most deprived places nationally, while the 36 worst affected places are more deprived than the average area.

The figures also show the top five areas are in the North West, while there are 100 areas in the Midlands and South with lower death rates than York, the best-performing northern area.

Ms MacFayden said people living in deprived areas are more likely to smoke, suffer from higher levels of air pollution, and live in substandard housing.

She added: "It is appalling but not surprising that the areas with the highest rates of respiratory-related deaths are overwhelmingly in the most deprived areas.

"This stark disparity underscores how poverty and substandard living conditions are costing people’s lives."

Nationally, there were 790,000 emergency hospital admissions due to respiratory disease in 2022-23 – up from 660,000 the year before, though still below pre-pandemic levels.

In Gloucestershire, emergency admissions fell slightly to 7,990.