BLACKPOOL men have the lowest life expectancy rates in the country according to a damning report.
The Government have released figures showing how long babies born today are expected to live based on current population death rates.
The figures make grim reading as an average Blackpool man is expected to live to just 73.2 years, ten year less than men in London’s affluent Kensington and Chelsea.
Rates for women have improved slightly in recent years, but the life expectancy is still low at 79.4.
The report also gives life expectancy figures for people at the age of 65.
For Blackpool men it is 16.2 years and women can expect to live a further 19.1 years.
But the rates vary significantly across different parts of the resort according to Bob Harbin, Public Health specialist for NHS Blackpool. He said: “Blackpool faces a major challenge in life expectancy.
“Life expectancy for women has recently improved, but for men it remains static and is worse than other PCT areas.
A number of adverse lifestyle factors such as high rates of alcohol consumption, smoking, poor diet and lower levels of physical activity help explain the current levels of disease we see.
“High levels of deprivation are associated with low life expectancy and out of the 326 local authority areas, Blackpool is the sixth most deprived.”
The figures are based on rates for 2007 -2009. Rates are improving, in 2001-2003, men were expected to live until just 72 and women 78.4.
Compared with the average for England and Wales, men in Blackpool currently die 4.4 years younger and women 2.8 years younger.
High rates of heart disease, stroke, cancers and obstructive airways diseases pull Blackpool life expectancy down.
The resort also has higher rates of alcohol and drug related deaths and suicides.
But work is ongoing according to NHS Blackpool to ensure rates keep improving.
The National Support Team for Health Inequalities have paid a visit to the town to see how issues like alcohol and smoking are being tackled.
Bob Harbin added: “Many of these schemes will have an impact in the future, the ones with the greatest potential impact in the short term are those involving health care delivery.
“The challenge of improving men’s life expectancy is particularly difficult, which is why the activities and messages of Men’s Health week are so important.”
NHS Blackpool is developing a Health Check programme for 40-75 year olds, which will operate across GP practices.
This will identify people with high blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease and stroke and give them treatment. A Health MoT team is also targeting communities to deliver health promotion messages.