Previous research has shown that those in more prosperous areas have a longer life expectancy than those who are poorer,…
Previous research has shown that those in more prosperous areas have a longer life expectancy than those who are poorer, but researchers have found the gap to rise, with experts saying life is lost for preventable and treatable diseases as a result of rising poverty.
The team says that the growing gap is likely to be a combination of factors, including the relatively high price of healthy food and difficulties in accessing healthcare ̵
1; factors that they say have been compounded by issues such as the recession and the tightening policy.
“We should measure a policy through its impact on inequality,” said Majid Ezzati, co-author of the study and professor of global environmental health at Imperial College London, adding that reforms such as universal credit have contributed to an increase in poverty.
This year researchers found British women have a shorter life span than in countries such as Spain, France and Greece. Separately, figures from the National Statistics Agency have recently revealed progress in the expected life expectancy for both men and women in England and backward in Scotland and Wales.
The authors of the latest study say their results highlight the importance of looking beyond the big picture. “Again, this is a situation … that does not notice what happens to the poorest until it actually starts to appear on average,” says Ezzati.
Prof Alan Walker of the University of Sheffield, who was not involved in the work, said the poorest pay for the government’s tightening with their lives.
“Although these findings are shocking, they are unfortunately not surprising because the UN Rapporteur on Poverty and Human Rights has only pointed out that the British government has pursued policies for the last eight years that were destined to fall the poorest “he said.” “We are all in this together” was always a cruel joke. “
Writing in the Lancet Public Health Journal, Ezzati and colleagues describe how they analyzed official data about 7.65m deaths in England between 2001 and 2016, along with data from 2015 where the country was broken down into nearly 33,000 small areas and then divided into 10 equal groups based on their deprivation. In general, the weakest areas fell in districts in the northern, western midlands and parts of London.
The results show that women living in the poorest tenth of England in 2001 had a lifetime at birth 6.1 years lower than in the richest tenths, but the gap had risen to 7.9 years by 2016, with those in the most prosperous areas that are expected to live for 86.7 years, compared to just 78.8 years for the most vulnerable areas. A similar trend was observed for men, with the longevity gap between the richest and poorest areas rising from nine years to about 9.8 years in the same period.
“Describing how old they are [those in][communities] died of each disease more than the rich,” said Ezzati, adding that the gap was burned especially by conditions such as heart disease, respiratory disease, lung cancer, dementia and death among very young infants.
However, while the total life expectancy increased for both rich and poor between 2001 and 2016, albeit for richer areas, lifetime for 2011 and 2016 actually fell for women in the poorest 20 percent of the country, with the weakest group falling with almost three months.
men’s life span graph
The team says there are probably a number of factors behind the results, among other things, that public health initiatives may have been more accessible to the rich and those in more deprived areas may make it harder to find time and money to access healthcare, while waiting times are longer and the provision is worse.
The team also notes that smoking services and funding problems in the provision of social welfare have been reduced – meaning that those who can pay for private care make it better in chronic conditions such as dementia.
At the same time adding the cost of healthy foods has risen while families find it increasingly difficult to handle financially with a growing dependence on food banks.
“Some of these are things people would call lifestyles, but we would tend to think about what the lifestyle people are focusing on,” said Ezzati.
The team has requested pricing policies and rules for alcohol and foods high in salt, sugar and some fats, saying that healthy food should be made cheaper.
Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, described the situation as a travesty.
“There are a variety of factors that play to determine life expectancy – life factors, diet and socioeconomic status, for exa mple – all of which can be inextricably linked. But the patient’s access to healthcare is also important and should not be based on their zip code, she says.