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Life expectancy set to drop for the poorest

STAGNATING wages and government spending cuts have led to the gap in life expectancy between the richest and poorest in the England to widen, according to new research published yesterday.

Life expectancy for the country’s poorest women has fallen by three months since 2011, it says.

Researchers at Imperial College London analysed Office for National Statistics data on all 7.65 million deaths recorded in England between 2001 and 2016.

They found the life expectancy gap between people living in the most affluent and most deprived areas increased from 6.1 years to 7.9 years for women and from 9.0 to 9.8 years in men between 2001 and 2016.

Senior author Professor Majid Ezzati said: “We currently have a perfect storm of factors that can impact on health and that are leading to poor people dying younger.

“The funding squeeze for health and cuts to local government services since 2010 have also had a significant impact on the most deprived communities, leading to treatable diseases such as cancer being diagnosed too late or people dying sooner from conditions like dementia.”

The study was funded by the Wellcome Trust and published in the Lancet Public Health.

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