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Life expectancy below national average for Telford

By Rebecca King | Telford | News | Published:

Life expectancy in Telford remains "significantly worse" than the national average, it has emerged.

Plans are being put together to improve the statistics and will be discussed by Telford & Wrekin Council's health and wellbeing board.

In a report compiled by Helen Onions, consultant in public health at Telford & Wrekin Council, it said work needed to be done to encourage healthier lifestyles as well as improve mental health and wellbeing.

Ms Onions said: "Life expectancy at birth in men was 78.4 years in 2013-15, a fall of 0.2 years compared to 2012-14.

"For women the life expectancy at birth rate was 82.0 years in 2013-15, a fall of 1.12 years compared to 2012-14.

"Both rates remain significantly worse than the England average.

"In general, a few children and young people dying at a very young age but also larger numbers of older people perhaps dying a little early can affect life expectancy rates.

"In both men and women in Telford and Wrekin infant mortality is a significant cause of the life expectancy gaps.

"For men alcohol-related conditions, suicide and lung cancer are also key contributors to the gap.

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"For women, chronic obstructive airways disease and coronary heart disease are also significant."

According to figures, cancer is "by far the biggest single cause of early death" in Telford and Wrekin followed by cardiovascular disease.

The report also added that there are a number of "lifestyle" factors that lead to a reduced life expectancy in the region.

Ms Onions said: "These risk factors, such as smoking, excess weight, lack of physical activity and excess alcohol consumption are also strongly associated with the local levels of socio-economic disadvantage, which exacerbates health inequalities.

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"The life expectancy picture today obviously reflects the legacy of relatively poor lifestyle behaviours in the borough over the past 50 years, as well as the current changing and challenging patterns."

She added: "The health and wellbeing board is also asked to recognise the importance of the radical upgrade in prevention in the NHS as part of the neighbourhood working plan and wider Sustainability and Transformation Plan."

Overall, she said, life expectancy for males and females in Telford and Wrekin is increasing. The gap between Telford and Wrekin and nationally is narrowing for males, but widening for females.

The report will be discussed at the meeting of Telford & Wrekin Council's health and wellbeing board tomorrow at 2pm, at Addenbrooke House, Ironmasters Way.

Rebecca King

By Rebecca King
@RebeccaK_Star

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at head office in Ketley

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