Bundy has one of state's worst death rates

BUNDABERG residents are dying at a higher rate than the Queensland average, with figures showing the city has one of the worst death rates in the state.

Figures have revealed a general downward trend in the state's death rates.

MOST COMMON CAUSES OF DEATH: What's killing Queensland 

But Bundaberg has gone the other way, with Australian Bureau of Statistics showing an increase in the number of deaths per head of population.

Queensland has had a 5% drop in the death rate in a decade.

In 2003, 6.3 out of every 1000 people died.

Fast forward 10 years to the most recent figures and the rate has dropped and 6 people out of every 1000 died.

The rate was much higher in Bundaberg.

In 2003, 8.2 people died for every 1000 of the population. By 2013 it had risen to 8.4 for every 1000 people.

Out of a total 46 death rates on the ladder, Bundaberg was among the worst, sitting at 35 in 2013.

Rural Health Alliance staff said there was still a stark difference in death rates between regional areas and the city.

In 2013, 5.4 people died in Brisbane for every 1000 in the population.

This was among the lowest 15 rates in the state.

Rural Health Alliance chief executive Gordon Gregory said the further towns were from a city, the more disadvantaged the population, especially when it came to health.

"The very reason for the Rural Health Alliance's existence is because there remains a gap," he said.

Mr Gregory said rural health statistics showed people in cities were reaping more benefits from Medicare and the pharmaceutical benefits scheme.

"(Regional residents) are missing out on Medicare-funded services at a rate of $2 billion a year," he said.

Mr Gregory said regional and rural areas generally had more elderly residents, more people with a disability and more families with lower incomes.

"We know people living in rural and remote areas do smoke more, they are more likely to drink heavily and are less likely to exercise," Rural Health Alliance policy advisor Andrew Phillips said.

Mr Phillips said rural and regional residents tended to be "crooker" and this, combined with a more limited access to medical services and later diagnoses contributed to higher death rates in regional areas.

Uncommon ways to die, listed in ABS Causes of Death:

Coalworker's lung disease

Nail disorders

Hair colour and hair shaft abnormalities

Exposure to noise

Crushed, pushed or stepped on by crowd or human stampede

Victim of lightning

Contact with scorpions

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