Life expectancy drops for Britain’s poor for first time since Second World War

Life expectancy has stalled and in our very poorest communities is even falling for the first time since the Second World War.

The trend has set in since 2011, under brutal Tory cuts, and Public Health England found death rates from heart disease and stroke are major factors.

Slamming austerity’s impact on public health cash and NHS funding, the report states: “Those who have been most affected are those with the least resources – those living in deprived areas –` which could indicate a role for Government spending.”

Eight out of 10 heart disease and stroke deaths are preventable and the report said tackling smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and other “drivers of inequalities” is vital.

Another cause of the slowdown was more elderly people dying in winter.

The Office for National Statistics also found our life expectancy slowdown is second only to the US among developed nations.

Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth said: “This must serve as a wake-up call for Tory ministers after years of austerity and cuts. It’s simply shameful people born into poverty and squalor die sooner and get sick quicker.”

PHE said deaths from heart disease are the key issue. Obesity increases the risk of heart disease and at least 25% of adults and 20% of kids are now obese.

Life expectancy in England is now 79.6 years for men and 83.2 for women.

From 2006 to 2011, it rose 1.6 years for males and 1.3 for females but from 2011 to 2016 the rise was 0.4 and 0.1 years respectively. Life expectancy for women in deprived communities fell 0.4 years.

Dr Veena Raleigh of The King’s Fund said: “It is worrying life expectancy is falling in deprived parts, further widening health inequalities. Action is needed to avoid sliding further down international league tables.”

The Department of Health aims to give us “five more healthy years by 2035”. It said: “Preventing health problems is the best way to improve life expectancy.”

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