homeFriday 22nd June 2018

Longer lives but poorer health

William Hatchett26/07/2017 - 12:31

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Life expectency increasig
Life expectency increasig

Life expectancy is increasing, with males living to an average of 79.5 years and females 83.1 years for females, according to Public Health England’s Health Profile for England.

The report – the first time PHE has used its population health data to give an overall picture for England – covers life expectancy, major causes of death, morbidity trends, European comparisons, inequality in health, social determinants and current health protection issues.

The report warns that longer lives are balanced by more time spend in poor health – life expectancy has increased more than years in good health and therefore the number of years lived in poor health has also increased.

Findings include:
• in the richest areas, people enjoy nearly 20 more years in good health than people in the poorest areas.
• diabetes makes the top 10 causes of ill-health and disability (morbidity) for the first time
• the two biggest risk factors behind levels of ill health are excess weight and high blood sugar
• lower back and neck pain are the biggest causes of ill health
• while deaths from heart disease and stroke have halved since 2001, it’s still the biggest killer of men
• the biggest killers for women are Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
• members of minority ethnic communities have poorer health outcomes than the average for England.
Duncan Selbie, chief executive of PHE said that the report had been created with local and national policy makers in mind.

He commented: ‘PHE wants policy makers to use the report as a shared reference point and to think about the broader impact of their policies on health. It also allows local policymakers to see how they compare with the national picture.’

He added: ‘Good public health is not defined by health policy alone. Our health profiles show a high-quality education, a well-designed and warm home, a good job and a community to belong to are just as important.

‘The more we consider the impact of all policies on population health, the sooner we can focus on preventing poor health instead of only dealing with its consequences, especially for those from the most deprived communities.’

Tony Lewis, CIEH head of policy commented that addressing the social determinants of health remains the core work of environmental health professionals. He said: ‘The report confirms that people are, in the main, living longer. But it also demonstrates that widening societal inequalities have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of our most disadvantaged communities. 

‘EHPs have an important role in ensuring safe housing, food and work and other environmental factors. Air quality in particular is a pressing issue and a current public health emergency. That’s why we have been urging the government to revaluate their current approach of dumping the burden on local authorities to and instead introduce a new Clean Air Act – robust legislation creating a comprehensive framework to deliver much-needed improvements in air quality.  
























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