Communities in many cities in northern England have reported an “alarming” decline in life expectancy over the past decade, according to a new study, which says the decline began before the Covid pandemic hit the UK.
According to researchers from Imperial College London, areas of cities in England including Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool and Blackpool had the lowest levels of life expectancy.
The researchers who conducted the study said the differences between the North and the South were growing rapidly.
In 2019, there was a gap of nearly 20 years in life expectancy for women living in the communities with the highest and lowest life expectancies.
An area in Camden, North London, had a life expectancy of 95.4 years compared to a community in Leeds where a woman was expected to live to 75.
For men the difference was about 27 years. A man living in Kensington and Chelsea in London was also expected to live to 95.
The life expectancy of men in one part of Blackpool was 68.
“There has always been a belief in the UK that everyone’s health is improving, even if not at the same pace. These data suggest that longevity is getting worse over the years in large parts of England,” said Professor Majid Izzati, senior author of the study.
“Declining life expectancy used to be rare in wealthy countries such as the UK, and occurred when there were major disasters such as wars and pandemics.”
He said: “Such a decline may be seen in ‘normal times’ before the pandemic becomes dangerous, and is indicative of ongoing policy failures to tackle poverty and provide adequate social support and health care.”
for the study, funded by the Wellcome Trust and published in Lancet Public Health In the journal Tuesday, researchers analyzed all deaths in England between 2002 and 2019.
A total of 791 local communities were included in the analysis, and the researchers assessed life expectancy trends over time for men and women for each of these.
The study found that most communities saw an increase in their life expectancy between 2002 and 2010, but the decline began after 2010.
According to the study, life expectancy fell in nearly one in five communities for women and one in nine communities for men between 2014 and 2019.
Poverty, insecure employment and lack of funding for welfare and health care contributed to the decline, the researchers said.
In a July 2021 speech, Prime Minister Boris Johnson described life expectancy discrepancies as “disgrace”.
The government says it is committed to “flattening” the country.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /