Startling new official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show a difference of 12.9 years in the life expectancy of a female in Kensington & Chelsea compared with a man in Blackpool.
New life expectancy figures for local areas in England, Northern Ireland and Wales reveal male life expectancy at birth is highest in Hart (the area around Fleet in Hampshire) at 83.7 years and lowest in Blackpool at 73.4 years. That’s a gap of over a decade. Female life expectancy is highest in London’s Kensington & Chelsea at 86.3 years and lowest in Blaenau Gwent in Wales (78.9 years), a gap of over seven years.
This postcode health lottery must not be allowed to continue, says a leading health specialist. Dr Avinash Hari Narayanan (MBChB), Clinical Lead at London Medical Laboratory (LML), says: ‘Where in the UK we were born shouldn’t doom us to a shorter life than other Brits. The difference between life expectancy figures for a Chelsea girl and a Blackpool boy are unacceptable. Regular health tests and screening would be powerful tools to ensure that females born in Blaenau Gwent and males born in Hart live equally long and healthy lives.
‘The North-South health divide is clear. Out of the 10 local areas with the highest male life expectancy, nine were in the South of England. For females, all 10 areas with the highest life expectancy were in the South.
‘Of course, a fall in period life expectancy does not mean that a baby born in the North-east will inevitably go on to live a shorter life than a baby born in the South. Their average lifespan will be determined by changes in mortality rates across their lifetime and, if they improve, then period life expectancy will go back up.
‘The most recent monthly mortality figures we have (for July, 2023) show the leading cause of death in both England and Wales was “ischaemic” heart diseases. London Medical Laboratory’s simple, finger-prick Heart Health Profile test indicates risks to heart health and includes a full cholesterol profile, as well as testing for inflammation and diabetes.
‘The Heart Health Profile test can be taken at home through the post, or at one of the many drop-in clinics that offer these tests across London and nationwide in over 120 selected pharmacies and health stores. For full details see: https://www.londonmedicallaboratory.com/product/heart-health-profile