Dundee men have lowest healthy life expectancy

The statistics also showed that women in Orkney have the highest healthy life expectancy. Picture: contributed
The statistics also showed that women in Orkney have the highest healthy life expectancy. Picture: contributed
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MEN in Dundee have the lowest healthy life expectancy in the UK at just 54.3 years, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The statistics also showed that women in Orkney have the highest healthy life expectancy, measured by how long an individual remains in ‘good’ or ‘very good’ health, at 73 years.

The figures showed that the growth in life expectancy has stalled across many areas of the UK.

Only 26 areas of the country recorded a significant jump in life expectancy for males between 2011/13 and 2014/16, compared with 203 areas between 2001/03 and 2004/06.

The equivalent number for females has fallen from 128 areas to 17.

And though life expectancy is continuing to increase in all parts of the UK, there is big variation between areas.

The London borough of Camden saw the fastest improvement in life expectancy between 2001/03 and 2014/16 for both males (7.5 years) and females (5.8 years).

By contrast, Denbighshire in north Wales saw the slowest improvement for males (1.4 years), while Hull recorded the smallest improvement for females (0.7 years).

The figures, from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), show the overall rate of improvement in life expectancy at birth during the first half of this decade was 75.3 per cent lower for males and 82.7 per cent lower for females when compared with the first half of the previous decade.

Chris White, principal researcher at the ONS, said further studies would be needed to understand what is driving the slowdown in improvement.

He said: “We have seen a trend of a levelling-off of gains in life expectancy. There is quite an intense debate at the moment about what is driving that: some people point to provisions in social care or health epidemics and other factors affecting older people, so there is a lot going on.

“Some of it is really just related to the ageing of a modern population but the trend in the data is definitely pointing to a thaw in the rate of improvement and it does require further research to unpick what is driving it.”

The ONS will be producing further studies next year on what ages are most affecting the improvement rates, and what causes of death might be driving the slowdown, he added.

The figures also show that healthy life expectancy, a person’s lifespan spent in good health, differs by as much as 18 years across parts of the UK.