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Tuesday, 15 May, 2001, 14:22 GMT 15:22 UK
Manchester bottom in long-life stakes
smoky bar
Life expectancy is lower in inner-city areas
The average man or woman from Manchester lives five years less than counterparts elsewhere in the UK, the latest figures reveal.

Life expectancy charts, released by the Office of National Statistics, reveal wide variations from region to region across England and Wales between 1997 and 1999.

On average, men live to approximately 75 years old, and women to 80.

However, in Manchester, men live to approximately 70 and women to only 75 on average.

Where do men live the longest? Leading three health authority areas
Kensington, Chelsea, Westminster - 78.64
Barnet - 77.51
West Surrey 77.27
By comparison, in Kensington and Chelsea, an affluent part of London, men can to live beyond 78 on average, and women almost to 85.

Overall life expectancy is a reliable measure of the level of health in general throughout life, as well as being a guide to the quality of health services.

Manchester has come bottom of other statistical tables measuring access to hospital care.

Where do women live the longest? Leading three health authority areas
Kensington, Chelsea, Westminster - 84.81
Solihull - 81.97
Dorset - 81.87
Ian Rhodes, from Manchester Health Authority, said the predominantly inner-city area covered by the authority influenced these results.

He said: "Manchester Health Authority covers an area which is almost entirely urban - with high levels of deprivation and other social problems.

"Even neighbouring health authorities such as Salford and Trafford, which have areas of deprivation which are as bad as in Manchester, include more affluent areas such as Altrincham and Sale which make things look better."

Where do men die earliest? Worst three health authority areas
Manchester - 70.21
Liverpool 71.6
Sandwell 72.52
Mr Rhodes said that his health authority - designated a Health Action Zone because of its high levels of deprivation - faced various problems in the local population.

"There are high levels of smoking, drinking, mental health problems, teenage pregnancy.

Where do women die earliest? Worst three health authority areas
Manchester - 76.97
Liverpool 76.5
St Helens/Knowsley - 77.74
"We feel we have always been 10 years behind the average health authority in terms of life expectancy - it has taken us about a decade to catch them up, by which time they have improved further."

Other predominantly urban health authorities also bring up the rear of the life expectancy tables.

In Liverpoool, men live only to 71.7 years, and women to just under 77.

However, despite the poor showing of both north-west cities, it is the north-east of England which overall has the worst male and female mortality.

Wales fares slightly worse than England, with men in the principality living to 74.5 years on average, and women to 79.5.

Although Scottish figures are not included in the latest release, previous calculations suggest that in some areas of Scotland, such as inner-city Glasgow, life expectancy is even lower than in Manchester - falling beneath the 70 year mark.

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See also:

23 Feb 01 | Health
Northerners 'lead shorter lives'
02 Mar 01 | Health
Minding the health gap
01 Dec 00 | Health
Cities 'as dangerous as smoking'
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