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Live longer in South West

2nd June 2008

The Office for National Statistics has published information which reveals that people who live in the South West of England and Wales have a greater chance of living to 75 than people in other parts of the country.

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The new statistics were compared to figures from the 1980s which evaluated the chance of surviving to the age of 75.

They showed that survival chances increased from 47% to 66% in the male population and 66% to 77% for the female population in England and Wales.

The best rates were shown in the South West, where males had a 70% probability of living to the age of 75, in comparison to 62% in the North East. Females had an 80% chance of survival in the South West and 74% in the North East.

The areas of the country which showed the best improvements - when survival rates to 75 were compared with the figures from the 1980s - were the North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber.

In a comparison of local authorities, people who lived in East Dorset had the highest survival rates - females had a 86% probability of living to 75 and males had 78%.

The poorest rates for the male population were in Manchester with 52% and for the female population were in Blaenau Gwent in south Wales, with 67%.

Professor Alan Maryon Davis, president of the Faculty of Public Health, said: "It is the big north-south divide again."

"The reasons are complicated. It is really a combination of factors, lifestyle, access to health services and the environment, including employment and housing."

Professor Maryon Davis added that the "choices" people made were important and the government could set up schemes to improve public health.

Dr Tim Crayford, of the Association of Directors of Public Health, said that the difference in rates were influenced by multiple factors which affected the health decisions people made.

"For example, smoking is one of the behaviours that has the biggest impact on your health and people from deprived backgrounds are more likely to smoke," he said.

 

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