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Early death rates higher in UK

30th April 2010

A study has revealed that people in the UK have a higher risk of early death than those living in many other wealthy countries.


The findings, published in The Lancet, show that while deaths before the age of 60 in the UK have nearly halved in the past four decades, the rate for women remains similar to that of Slovenia and Albania.

Experts from the team, led by researchers from Washington University, suggested that a large inequality gap was to blame.

Overall, men in Iceland and women in Cyprus had the lowest risk of early death while sub-Saharan Africa currently has some of the highest rates.

The findings were produced after analysis of censuses, death registrations and surveys in 187 different countries in 1970, 1990 and 2010.

Professor Danny Dorling, an expert in health inequalities from Sheffield University, said the poor performance of the UK was down to health inequalities.

"We have some of the worst health outcomes in our poorest areas in the whole of Europe,” he said.

“It is unlikely, but not impossible. It hasn't happened since the 1930s, but it will really depend on how the future government makes the cuts."

In the UK, 58 deaths per 1,000 among women were before the age of 60, while for men the figure stood at 93. In Western Europe only women in Denmark and Belgium had a higher risk than those in the UK.

The Department of Health said female life expectancy in the UK was at its highest ever level.


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Article Information

Title: Early death rates higher in UK
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 14748
Date Added: 30th Apr 2010


BBC News

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