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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Big increase in life expectancy for everyone in Cumbria

Life expectancy for both men and women across Cumbria has continued to rise over the past decade, with women in some areas reaching an average age of 84.

But although it looks positive, expects are warning that a long life does doesn’t always mean a healthy one.

It is estimated that people living in deprived areas will suffer multiple health problems 10 to 15 years earlier than those in more affluent areas.

Although life-span has increased everywhere, the age you are expected to reach still fluctuates considerably from district to district.

For example, women in Eden are living the longest, with a life expectancy of 84.1 – seven years longer than men in Barrow, who the shortest life expectancy, of 77.1.

In Carlisle, life expectancy in men rose from 75.5 between 2000 and 2002 to 78.5 between 2010 and 2012. In women it rose from 79.5 to 82 over the same period.

In Allerdale, it rose from 75.6 to 78.2 in men and 80.6 to 81.9 in women. Copeland was similar, rising from 64.5 in men to 77.6 and from 79.8 in women to 81.4.

A Cumbria County Council public health spokesman said that although life expectancy is far better than it was 10 years ago, people also need to think about quality of life and what they can do to help ensure their later years are not plagued by illness.

“When we think about our health, more often than not we conjure up images of illness, hospitals, and the doctors and nurses who work in them.

“In actual fact, 80 per cent of what makes our lives longer and healthier happens well away from hospitals and other health services,” he explained.

“Whether we smoke, drink to excess, eat too much, exercise too little and other lifestyle factors account for 40 per cent of our overall health.”

But he added that whether you live in an affluent or deprived area, the condition of your home, the job you do and your household income can also have an effect.

That is something the authority is working to tackle, he explained: “As a county council, tackling levels of poverty and developing more joined-up health and care services is a key part of our approach to help the county meet these challenges.

“The council is also committed to working with local communities, the NHS and other partners to improve Cumbria’s health. For example, the county council now funds free NHS health checks for everyone in Cumbria aged 40 to 74 years. These checks, which are available in GP practices and selected pharmacies, can provide an early warning of more serious health problems.

“If you’re in the 40 to 74 age bracket and would like a free health check, visit a participating pharmacy or contact your GP for more information.”

Carlisle:

Men – (2000-02) 75.5/(2010-12) 78.5

Women – (2000-02) 79.5 (2010-12) 82
 

Allerdale:

Men – (2000-02) 75.6/(2010-12) 78.2

Women – (2000-02) 80.6 (2010-12) 81.9
 

Copeland:

Men – (2000-02) 74.5/(2010-12) 77.6

Women – (2000-02) 79.8 (2010-12) 81.4
 

Eden:

Men – (2000-02) 77.6/(2010-12) 80.3

Women – (2000-02) 81.5 (2010-12) 84.1
 

South Lakeland:

Men – (2000-02) 77.6/(2010-12) 80.9

Women – (2000-02) 81.8 (2010-12) 83.4
 

Barrow:

Men – (2000-02) 74.0/(2010-12) 77.1

Women – (2000-02) 79.9 (2010-12) 81.4

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