Many areas in the north of England have seen life expectancy fall within the last decade, a new study suggests.
Differences across England have now become stark, say researchers - such as a 27-year gap in life expectancy for a man living in Kensington and Chelsea, compared with Blackpool. Researchers described the trend as “alarming”.
“There has always been an impression in the UK that everyone’s health is improving, even if not at the same pace,” said Prof Majid Ezzati from Imperial College London which carried out the study. “These data show that longevity has been getting worse for years in large parts of England.”
The study, which has been published in The Lancet journal, analysed all deaths in England between 2002 and 2019. It then worked out the life expectancy for different communities, based on the death records in those places. It found that while life expectancy rose in most places during the first decade of the millennium, from 2010 it began to decline in some places.
Areas in London and the home counties still continued on the path of living longer - but life expectancy fell in some urban parts of Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool and Blackpool where life expectancy was below 70 for men and 75 for women.
By 2019, the researchers say there was a 20-year gap in life expectancy between a woman living in Camden (95.4 years) versus a woman living in one area of Leeds (74.7 years). And for men, there was a 27-year gap in life expectancy between areas in Kensington and Chelsea (95.3 years) and parts of Blackpool (68.3 years). Average life expectancy in the UK is 79 years for men and just below 83 years for women, according to estimates from the Office for National Statistics.
The researchers say the differences are down to poverty, insecure employment as well as reductions in welfare support and healthcare.
I did a course several years ago aimed at small community groups. It was aimed at helping us to fundraise & one day was dedicated to using health statistics. To over simplify things. The lower an areas wealth is, the shorter it’s life expectancy is. And it is not just life expectancy, wealth can also affect things like rates of certain cancers etc.
Somewhere, I think I still have a large folder of information that was handed to us after that module.
I was born in London during WWII and I am by far the longest lived male of my family at 78. My father was dead by 40 (London born) my grandfather reached 64 (London born) and my great grandfather (also London born) did reach 66. I only made 78 because at 60 when I was stricken by a stroke, expert medical intervention provided the right care & support to get me through the worst of it. I am back in hospital tomorrow for more heart surgery and hopefully, I’ll make it through to 88.
Those studies can be skewed to show any desired result, so I treat all such results with scepticism.
Oh yes, and incidentally, my only son died during his first day of life, in the hospital of his birth … yeah, really long lived for a Londoner!
I hope your heart surgery tomorrow goes OK and is successful, heart surgery today very good, it is amazing what can be done.
Some years ago now I had a heart attack. In conversation with my GP I said to her that I could not understand why, at just 60, I had that heart attack. I don’t drink or smoke and have a healthy diet and lifestyle I said to her. Her reply was to comment that I had overlooked just one thing, which was that I am a human being and as such am fallible.
Her reply immediately put everything into context, no more querying as to why!
I do recall reading before the pandemic that the growth in life expectancy in the UK had flattened out for some years and was causing concern as it was diverging from life expectancy in the rest of Europe.
I can’t find the article but it would have been in 2019
But it is alarming … 27 years difference is no small amount.
Surely over the last 20 years when people have had it rammed down their throats, don’t smoke, don’t drink to excess you would expect no more than a minor difference between North and South.
The usual culprits reducing life expectancy such as poor housing, and malnourishment don’t apply so much these days … certainly not to the degree of our grandparents days when life was tough, and I mean tough.
A break down of the causes of death would be handy to know.
Women living in the village of Detling in Kent are living longer than the average life expectancy of 83 in England, leaving many wondering what their secret is. With an average life expectancy of 95, they’re being acknowledged as the longest-living in England.
In 2015, according to WHO, the UK was 20th in the league table of life expectancy, but in the latest table the UK is now 25th in 2020, so that survey mentioned in the OP could well be right. I wonder why that has happened?
Maybe some of us live to an old age but what about the quality of life? If I’m just sitting around waiting to die what’s the point of it. I’d rather die before then.
Sometimes I see a 85 year old lady that walks her dog. But she’s in agony with her spine because it’s slowly breaking down. She’s on medication but it doesn’t do much and they can’t operate. Another lady has curvature of the spine and in pain but can’t do anything.
I’ve thought for a long time all the additives and the way foods are ‘adulterated’, crap sprayed on it or put in it, and people relying on processed foods is a big part of the problem.
That and sitting around on their backsides doing nothing apart from exercising their thumbs on their phones.
It seems these days everything is geared towards doing less and less physically.
Machines are slowly taking us over. and making those who are lazy even lazier and getting fatter