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Female Life Expectancy Lower In UK Town Than In Colombia

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Female Life Expectancy Lower In UK Town Than In Colombia

A recent report from the Health Foundation has revealed females have a lower life expectancy in the poorest parts of England than in Colombia, Latvia and Hungary.

The average life expectancy for women in the whole of England is 83.2 years; significantly higher than the overall life expectancy for women in countries Colombia (79.8 years), Latvia (79.7 years) and Hungary (79.6 years).

Mexico has the lowest life expectancy at birth of any country belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), with women living on average of 77.9 years.

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Women in the poorest 10 percent of areas in England, such as the town of Oldham, Greater Manchester, are found to have an average life expectancy of 78.7 years; a significant contrast to the average of 83.2 years for the whole country.

In comparison, women living in the richest 10 percent of areas in England can expect to live on average 86.4 years; the second highest overall life expectancy for women in any OECD country after Japan, which has the highest female life expectancy at 87.3 years.

The Health Foundation has suggested the 7.7 year gap in life expectancy highlights the extent of health inequalities in England.

Oldham resident Susan has attributed the findings to low income, poor diet and general poverty.

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She told Manchester Evening News: "I'm really struggling because I'm trying to help my son who has lost his partner.

"He's left with £500 rent and he's lost his job so he's trying to struggle on £580 Universal Credit a month.

"I've just been to Citizens Advice about his utility bills but you can't get in there, you have to ring for an appointment. I rang and it's a three-month waiting list so what are you supposed to do?"

Oldham is among the poorest areas in England. Credit: Alamy
Oldham is among the poorest areas in England. Credit: Alamy
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"My sister is just coming out of hospital and she's not in a good way and she's only 58.

"She now needs 24[-hour] care and I'm her carer but we need more help because I can't give her everything she needs.

"I know a lot people around here who have died prematurely. It's every time you turn around someone is in some kind of tragedy. Something that shouldn't have happened really."

Another resident, Carole, said she had been without a working boiler for more than two months and has just undergone several rounds of chemotherapy. Her daughter, who works full time, struggles to put food on the table for her children.

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Carole says her daughter struggles to put food on the table. Credit: MEN Media
Carole says her daughter struggles to put food on the table. Credit: MEN Media
Women in Oldham have a lower life expectancy than richer areas. Credit: Alamy
Women in Oldham have a lower life expectancy than richer areas. Credit: Alamy

"I don't know any woman around here that's not skipped a meal to make sure their children get fed. I've certainly done it," Carole commented.

A third resident, who asked not to be named, admitted they 'can see' how life expectancy would be lower in Oldham, saying: "I think they are trying to invest a lot into Oldham but without food banks I really don't know how many people around here would survive."

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New mum Emily, 27, said: "Some weeks it's a decision of do we put the heating on or wrap up and it's hard. It takes a big toll on people's physical and mental health.

Emily says she can't always afford to put the heating on. Credit: MEN Media
Emily says she can't always afford to put the heating on. Credit: MEN Media

"My son is five months old and he's got to go into nursery which is £800 to £1,000 a month - that's basically all of mine or my partner's wage just for that."

The Health Foundation has pointed out the health gap between the rich and poor could become more significant as a result of the rising cost of living, with increasing numbers being forced to choose between essentials such as heating and food or being driven into debt.

Featured Image Credit: MEN Media

Topics: Health, UK News, Politics, Money

Emily Brown
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