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Written Ministerial Statements

Wednesday 19 January 2005


Ministerial Responsibilities

The Minister for the Cabinet Office (Mr. David Miliband): A revised edition of the "List of Ministerial Responsibilities" (January 2005) has been published today and copies placed in the Library. It can also be obtained electronically at: www.knowledgenetwork._gov.uk/elmr/minister.nsf


Gambling Commission

The Minister for Sport and Tourism (Mr. Richard Caborn): Improving safeguards for children and vulnerable adults in relation to gambling is a Government priority. As outlined in the Gambling Bill, we intend to introduce greater safeguards than are available under the present law. We need to address the challenges that are caused by new technology, by the internet and by the steady growth in consumer demand. Without the Bill, problem gambling is likely to increase. The safeguards will allow the regulator—the proposed new gambling commission—and the Government to keep the position firmly under control and to act swiftly to cut the supply of gambling opportunities, should that prove necessary.

Our intention, subject to parliamentary approval, is that we protect as many individuals as we can, from as early a date as possible. In order to do this we need to carry out essential activities to set up the gambling commission, which will require some expenditure in advance of the legislation achieving Royal Assent. Delay in funding the setting up of the gambling commission would undermine good progress being made in this area and would be contrary to the public interest.

An advance from the contingencies fund has therefore been sought and approved. Without this advance, work on the technology to support the commission's
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operation, accommodation and appointment of certain senior staff would suffer. This would set back plans to introduce the new safeguards that are urgently required.

Parliamentary approval for additional resources will be sought in a supplementary estimate for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport following Royal Assent of the Gambling Bill. Pending that approval, urgent cash expenditure of £367,533 will be met by a repayable cash advance from the contingencies fund.


Gulf War

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Ivor Caplin): As part of the Government's continuing commitment to openness and transparency on Gulf veterans' illnesses I am today publishing the regular data on the mortality of veterans of the 1990–91 Gulf conflict. The most recent figures for the period 1 April 1991 to 31 December 2004 were published on 17 January 2005. The tables from that publication are set out below. Table 1 gives the causes of death to UK Gulf veterans over that period; table 2 shows the deaths due to neoplasms (cancers) among Gulf veterans.

As with previous information, the data for Gulf veterans are compared to that of a control group known as the Era cohort, which is made up of armed forces personnel of a similar profile in terms of gender, service, regular/reservist status and rank, who were not deployed to the Gulf. Subsequent to the previous release of this data, further examination of trends in some cause-groups has revealed differences between the Gulf and Era cohort age groups: although each Era cohort age group was randomly sampled to have the same size as the corresponding Gulf cohort age group, those who were aged 40 years or over on 1 January 1991 who deployed to the Gulf were often younger than those sampled for the Era cohort. All figures for the Era cohort have therefore been adjusted to the single years of age structure of the Gulf cohort, as at 1 January 1991, to ensure appropriate comparisons. The main impact is slightly to reduce the previously noticed excess of deaths in the Era cohort caused by disease-related conditions, and cancer in particular, increasing the similarity between the two cohorts. The effect on accidental deaths is minimal.

Key points to note in the data are:

Table 1: Deaths to UK Gulf Veterans (1) 1 April 1991–31 December 2004

Causes (2)ICD ChapterCause of deathGulfEraAdjusted (3)EraCrudeMortalityRate RatioAdjusted (3)MortalityRate RatioAdjusted (3)95%ConfidenceInterval
All deaths6877126880.960.99(0.89–1.10)
All cause coded deaths6787006780.960.99(0.89–1.10)
I-XVIIIDisease related causes3053663410.830.88(0.76–1.03)
ICertain infectious and parasitic diseases6331.992.15(0.50–9.35)
VMental and behavioural disorders1118170.610.65(0.31–1.39)
VIDiseases of the nervous system1011110.900.91(0.93–2.14)
IXDiseases of the circulatory system1061301240.810.85(0.65–1.10)
XDiseases of the respiratory system10651.661.79(0.59–5.41)
XIDiseases of the digestive system1724220.700.75(0.40–1.43)
III, IV, XII–XVIIIAll other disease related causes (4)720180.350.36(0.15–0.91)
XXExternal causes of mortality3733343371.111.10(0.95–1.27)
Transport accidents:1711381391.231.22(0.97–1.53)
Land transport accident:1401141151.221.20(0.94–1.55)
Motorcycle rider3832321.181.17(0.73–1.88)
Car occupant (5)4132321.271.26(0.79–2.01)
Other (6)4444440.990.98(0.64–1.50)
Water transport5222.492.44(0.46–12.86)
Air and space transport2622221.181.17(0.67–2.06)
Other external causes of accidental injury:6761601.091.09(0.77–1.56)
Exposure to inanimate mechanical forces1215160.800.73(0.33–1.58)
Accidental drowning and submersion and other accidental threats to breathing 13662.162.05(0.76–5.55)
Accidental poisoning by and exposure to noxious substances 1515140.991.01(0.48–2.14)
Accidental exposure to other and unspecified factors1612111.331.39(0.65–2.00)
Intentional self-harm and events of undetermined intent 7, 8 1201101121.091.06(0.82–1.37)
Legal intervention and operations of war4560.870.74(0.20–2.66)
Sequelae of external causes of morbidity and mortality0210.000.00(0.00–0.00)
Deaths where the inquest has been Adjourned68
Other deaths for which cause data are not yet available58
Overseas deaths for which cause data are not available44

(1) Service and Ex-Service personnel only.
(2) Causes have been coded to the World Health Organisation's International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th revision (ICD-10), 1992.
(3) Adjusted for age of the Gulf cohort at 1 January 1991. The numbers may not add up to the totals shown due to rounding.
(4) Includes cases with insufficient information on the death certificate to provide a known cause of death.
(5) The MoD's casualty branches have notified DASA that one of the personnel who died in a road traffic accident was riding a motorbike rather than being a car occupant. This change has been reflected in the numbers.
(6) Under ICD-10 coding if the death certificate does not specifically mention the type of vehicle that was involved in the accident, the death is coded to "motor- or non-motor vehicle accident, type of vehicle unspecified". There were 36 deaths to Gulf veterans compared to 33 in the Era group.
(7) These events include those given a coroners verdict of suicide or open verdict death by a Coroner in England and Wales and similar causes in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It includes one death which has been coded to the ICD-10 code F11.1 ("Mental and behavioural disorders due to use of opoids") by the ONS. This death has been excluded from the mental and behavioural disorders.
(8) ONS have recently informed DASA that deaths where the inquest has been adjourned are coded to Y33 ("Other specified events, undetermined intent"). Historically these have been included with the intentional self-harm and events of undetermined intent.

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Table 2: Deaths to UK Gulf veterans due to neoplasms: 1 April 1991–31 December 2004
Major cancer sites and specific sites with at least five deaths in one of the cohorts
ICDCancer siteGulfEraAdjusted 1 EraCrudeMortalityRate RatioAdjusted 1 MortalityRate RatioAdjusted 1 95%ConfidenceInterval
C00–C99Malignant Neoplasms (MN)1351511400.890.97(0.77–1.22)
C00–C14MN of lip, oral cavity and pharynx6650.991.04(0.32–3.41)
C15–C26, C48MN of digestive organs and peritoneum3339340.840.96(0.60–1.54)
C15MN of oesophagus12542.392.92(0.98–8.72)
C16MN of stomach1640.170.19(0.02–2.04)
C18MN of colon414110.280.35(0.11–1.07)
C25MN of pancreas6880.750.78(0.27–2.25)
C30–C39, C45MN of respiratory and intrathoracic organs2230260.730.87(0.50–1.49)
C34MN of bronchus and lung1928240.680.80(0.45–1.42)
C40–C44, C47, C49–C50MN of bone, connective tissue, skin and breast1614141.141.13(0.55–2.32)
C43Malignant melanoma of skin7551.391.42(0.46–4.37)
C51–C68MN if genitourinary organs5870.620.65(0.21–2.06)
C69–C80MN of other and unspecified sites2735340.770.79(0.48–1.31)
C71MN of brain1820190.900.93(0.49–1.77)
C80MN without specification of site812120.660.68(0.28–1.65)
C81–C96MN of lymphatic and haematopoietic tissue2619171.361.45(0.79–2.66)
C81–C85, C91.4, C96Lymphomas13991.441.50(0.64–3.53)
C82– C85, C91.4, C96Non–Hodgkin's lymphoma9661.491.60(0.57–4.51)
C91–C95 excl C91.4Leukaemias11871.371.38(0.53–3.59)
C92Myeloid leukaemia8551.591.47(0.48–4.47)
D00–D48In situ neoplasms, benign neoplasms and neoplasms of uncertain behaviour or unspecified nature3330.990.89(0.16–4.93)

1 Adjusted for age of Gulf cohort at 1 January 1991.

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