It Really Is Better For Your Health In The South

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You are likely to live longer and in better health if you live in London and the South-East, according to a new report.

The research found that men suffer more from deprivation and that the five most deprived areas in the country are in the north.

The study, by the International Longevity Centre (ILC) and the Cass Business School looked at the likely impact of deprivation until 2030.

The key takeaways were:

  • Longevity is gradually increasing for everyone
  • Life expectancy is converging for men and women
  • Life expectancy progress is slower in areas that suffer deprivation
  • The longevity gap between the rich and the poor is widening

Researchers found a 10.9 year life expectancy gap at the age of 30 between men living in the richest and poorest areas, compared to 8.4 years for women.

The worst places to live

The team found men aged 44 were 4.4 times more likely to die in the bottom 10 deprived neighbourhoods, compared with men of the same age living in the most well-off areas.

The five most deprived areas were Middlesbrough; Knowsley, Merseyside; Hull; Liverpool and Manchester.

In London, the only boroughs in the top 50 most deprived neighbourhoods were Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Haringey.

Lead researcher Professor Les Mayhew, of the Cass Business School, explained many of the differences in life expectancy are explained by unhealthy lifestyles and a lack of social mobility and investment.

“The causes of ill health are increasingly lifestyle related and rooted in the cultures of different socio-economic groups – think smoking, excessive drinking, obesity, drug abuse and mental illness,” he said.

Undesirable neighbourhoods

“Efforts are being made to improve health outcomes in deprived areas but more resources need to be provided for preventative measures, training and education.  Policy tools aimed at changing behaviour using financial incentives including taxes have shown to be successful and should also be considered.”

But Mayhew called for more investment to tackle deprivation.

“The geographical pattern of deprived districts in England is well established and the reputation of these districts as undesirable places to live tends to go before them, making them unattractive places to invest in. If Government is serious about redressing inequalities, creating attractive job opportunities for the young and investing in training and education is one way do this,” he said.

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