Shock at death figures

MEN born in Blackpool are still dying younger than anywhere else in the country, the latest shocking figures reveal.
MEN born in Blackpool are still dying younger than anywhere else in the country, the latest shocking figures reveal.

MEN born in Blackpool are still dying younger than anywhere else in the country, the latest shocking figures reveal.

And the resort also falls in the worst three areas of England for women’s life expectancy too. Only in Scotland can men expect to die earlier.

Some improvements have been made in the length of time people born in the town can expect to live since 2004/06, but the data, released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), shows those living in prosperous areas survive longer.

Longer

A man from London’s affluent Kensington and Chelsea can expect to live 11.5 years longer than his counterpart in Blackpool, whose life expectancy would be 73.6. The average woman from Blackpool would live to 79.4 years – 10 years less than one from the London borough, according to figures for 2008/10.

The ONS said the large variation between the north and south indicated “health inequalities across the UK are increasing.” The divide has been blamed on a string of social factors, such as alcohol consumption and smoking, the proportion of people living in deprivation, environmental conditions and social class.

Coun Ivan Taylor, chairman of Blackpool Council’s health and well-being committee, said: “These are shocking figures, but not news to us. We have been doing more than virtually anywhere else in the country to try to tackle it.

“It is largely tied in with health inequalities and deprivation. This is a big issue, especially among our transient population.

“We’ve had success with our no smoking campaign, been working hard to tackle harmful drinking and campaigning for minimum pricing for alcohol.

“It can be hard to reach some members of the community and we have to get people to take the message on board.”

Gwen King, chairman of Queens Park Residents Association, said she felt tackling unemployment and education might help people live longer.

She added: “It’s linked to lack of income, people can’t afford their five-a-day and so on. Many from the lower echelons of society don’t have the education to know how to make a healthy meal cheaply.

“And we have high binge drinking and smoking in Blackpool – S often linked to deprivation as they give people solace.”