Thursday, November 14, 2019

Falling Life Expectancy for the Poor

Yet another report that there has been a fall in the life-expectancy in the UK.

Research by academics at the London School of Economics (LSE) reveals life expectancy in the UK has fallen to levels last seen 16 years ago as widening social inequalities lead to a rise in avoidable deaths in disadvantaged communities. While people in wealthier areas of the country continue to live longer,  life expectancy is stalling – or even reversing – for those living in the most deprived areas.

The UK is failing to reduce avoidable deaths – such as accidental poisoning, alcohol consumption and suicide – among under 50s, and in some sub-groups these deaths are increasing, according to the findings. While life expectancy for this age group continues to rise in European countries such as France and the Netherlands, the UK is falling behind, with the research showing that avoidable deaths are now the leading causes of death among UK adults aged 20-49.  This indicated Britain was following “worrying” trends seen in the US, where there has been a spike in alcohol and drug related deaths among young people.
In Scotland, drug-related death rates now exceed those of the US, with 218 deaths per million population, compared to 217 per million.

The research also found that women living in the most deprived areas of the UK are now expected to live for 78 years and eight months, versus 86 and two months years in the least deprived – more than seven years less. 
Veena Raleigh, senior fellow at the King’s Fund, pointed out that UK spending on health and social care per capita, and as a proportion of GDP, was lower than in many comparable European countries, and said it needed to be put on a "more realistic footing".

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