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Figures show UK life 'healthier for longer'

30th August 2012

People in the UK are living for longer with good health according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

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However, there is still variation in healthy life expectancy (HLE) across the regions.

While HLE increased by more than two years in the period 2008-10 compared with 2005-07 and the proportion of life spent in good health rose in England and Wales, it fell in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

But the latest ONS figures do show that now 80% of a lifetime in the UK is spent in good health from birth.

Life expectancy in England and Wales is 78 (men) and 82 for women with HLE at 64 and 66 in England and 63 for both men and women in Wales. In Northern Ireland life expectancy is 77 for men and 81 for women with HLE at 59 and 62 years. In Scotland, life expectancy is 76 and 80 with HLE at 60 for men and 64 for women.

Ed Jessop, Vice President of the Faculty of Public Health said: “These figures are encouraging. They show that action on public health works. There is particular success for people living in England.

“But the gap between the health ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ has widened, particularly for men living in Northern Ireland.”

Ros Altmann, director of over-50s organisation Saga, said while the figures showing more people were staying healthy into later life was cause for celebration there were challenges in managing an ageing population and also preparing for care needs.

 

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