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The 20 areas in England where you’re more likely to face an early grave

People in Blackpool are the most likely in England to die young, claims a study which names and shames the 20 least healthy places in the country.

The areas of England where people lose the most years of their lives to disease, suicide, drugs and car crashes have been revealed today in a detailed report. 

And it’s bad news for people living in the North and the Midlands – none of the 20 least healthy places are south of Birmingham.

Half of the premature deaths have been linked to avoidable risk factors like smoking, obesity, an unhealthy diet, drinking, and not doing enough exercise.

And poorer people are more likely to die young, scientists say, as rates of premature death are twice as high in the most deprived areas compared to the richest.   

A study led by the University of East Anglia has revealed where people lose the most years of their lives to preventable causes – Blackpool comes off worst and all the top 20 are in the north of England or the Midlands

The study, led by the University of East Anglia, has measured the least healthy areas by calculating how many years of life people lose to preventable causes.  

The 10 areas where people are most likely to die young, after Blackpool, are Stoke-on-Trent, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Liverpool, Salford, Hull, Blackburn, Nottingham, and Tameside.

And the same areas also rank highly on a measure of how deprived the areas are.

The following 10, making up the top 20, are Rochdale, Oldham, Wolverhampton, St Helens, Knowsley, Hartlepool, Wigan, Sunderland, Sandwell, Doncaster and Walsall.

Meanwhile, far less deprived areas like Kensington and Chelsea, Wokingham and Richmond upon Thames, have the fewest years lost from their life expectancies. 

‘This highlights the stark division between rich and poor areas, which sees poorer people dying earlier and getting sicker quicker,’ said Professor John Newton, director of health improvement at Public Health England.  

‘It also shows the improvements to health that could be achieved by addressing underlying causes, such as poverty, education and other resources needed for good health.

‘As we work to develop the NHS long-term plan, actions tackling the social and structural drivers of ill health are needed if we’re to improve the stubborn health gap between rich and poor areas of the country.’

The difference is so big that people in those areas have fewer than half as many years shaved off their lives.   

For example in the least deprived area, Wokingham in Berkshire, the population loses a total of just 6,888 years from their collective lifespan.

Whereas in Blackpool, the most deprived place in the country, this figure is a staggering 14,274 years. The full results are in a table at the bottom of the page. 

WHERE ARE PEOPLE MOST LIKELY TO DIE YOUNG? 

  1. Blackpool
  2. Stoke-on-Trent
  3. Manchester
  4. Middlesbrough
  5. Liverpool
  6. Salford
  7. Hull
  8. Blackburn
  9. Nottingham
  10. Tameside, Greater Manchester
  11. Rochdale, Greater Manchester
  12. Oldham, Greater Manchester
  13. Wolverhampton
  14. St Helens, Merseyside
  15. Knowsley, Merseyside
  16. Hartlepool, Co. Durham
  17. Wigan
  18. Sunderland
  19. Sandwell, West Midlands
  20. Doncaster 

WHERE ARE PEOPLE LEAST LIKELY TO DIE YOUNG? 

  1. Kensington & Chelsea, London
  2. Richmond upon Thames 
  3. Wokingham, Berkshire
  4. Surrey
  5. Kingston upon Thames
  6. Westminster
  7. Harrow, London
  8. Buckinghamshire
  9. South Gloucestershire
  10. Hampshire
  11. Oxfordshire
  12. Bath & NE Somerset
  13. Cambridgeshire
  14. Barnet, London
  15. Bracknell Forest
  16. Hertfordshire
  17. Bromley, London 
  18. Windsor and Maidenhead
  19. West Berkshire
  20. Dorset 

While overall rates of premature death have improved since 1990, half of all premature deaths in 2016 were linked to risk factors like diet, alcohol and smoking.   

And between 1990 and 2016, life expectancy improved in all four countries of the UK, but the rate of improvement has slowed since 2010.

This slow-down has been mainly driven by slowing improvements in ischaemic heart disease, stroke, bowel cancer, lung cancer, and breast cancer, the researchers added.

‘The worsening trend in mortality for some cancers is a concern, especially given evidence that survival from some common cancers in the UK is worse than in other European countries,’ said Professor Nicholas Steel, lead author of the study. 

Researchers have also published an interactive map detailing how many ‘years of life are lost’ due to the nation’s 20 leading causes of premature death across each locality.

This means Britons can compare their local area to other regions by clicking on this link.

All areas are given a score based on how deprived they are, with Wokingham scoring lowest with six, and Blackpool the highest on 42.

Some areas performed better than expected given their levels of deprivation, researchers said.

For example, Birmingham and the London boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Hackney performed better than local regions with similar levels of deprivation in Liverpool and Manchester.  

Commenting on the study, Tim Elwell-Sutton, from the Health Foundation think-tank said: ‘It’s alarming to see that premature deaths are so much higher for people living in the most deprived areas of England, and that people in these areas have more multiple health conditions and spend longer in ill health.

‘Factors such as diet, smoking, drug and alcohol use have a lasting impact on health but are only one part of the picture. 

‘The Government must recognise that people’s health is the result of a wide range of social determinants including their quality of housing and education, where they live, access to good quality work and affordable food.’ 

Alison Cook, director of policy at the British Lung Foundation, added: ‘It’s tragic that where you live can determine how long you live for. 

‘This study provides yet more evidence that we need a national plan to address the shocking numbers of people living with lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in deprived areas.

‘It’s also clear from these findings that smoking remains a huge risk factor for early death.’  

HOW MANY YEARS OF LIFE DO PEOPLE LOSE TO PREVENTABLE DISEASES, ROAD ACCIDENTS, SUICIDE, AND DRINK AND DRUGS?
Area Years of life lost from all causes Index of deprivation
Blackpool 14,274 42
Stoke-on-Trent 11,847 34
Manchester 11,729 41
Middlesbrough 11,693 40
Liverpool 11,607 41
Salford 11,502 33
Kingston upon Hull, City of 11,501 41
Blackburn with Darwen 11,464 34
Nottingham 11,313 37
Tameside 11,156 29
Rochdale 11,150 34
Oldham 11,130 30
Wolverhampton 11,114 33
St Helens 11,057 30
Knowsley 11,033 41
Hartlepool 10,961 33
Wigan 10,890 25
Sunderland 10,872 30
Sandwell 10,870 35
Doncaster 10,832 29
Walsall 10,742 30
Leicester 10,691 33
Sefton 10,674 26
Barking and Dagenham 10,617 35
Bury 10,616 22
Halton 10,598 32
Barnsley 10,565 30
North East Lincolnshire 10,525 31
Telford and Wrekin 10,452 25
Wirral 10,447 27
Newcastle upon Tyne 10,443 28
Rotherham 10,432 28
Gateshead 10,408 26
Bradford 10,379 33
Birmingham 10,369 38
Calderdale 10,330 25
County Durham 10,322 26
Redcar and Cleveland 10,298 29
Bolton 10,225 28
South Tyneside 10,223 31
North Tyneside 10,173 21
Derby 10,164 28
Coventry 10,110 28
Wakefield 10,002 27
Portsmouth 9,999 27
North Lincolnshire 9,982 21
Darlington 9,954 24
Northumberland 9,908 21
Warrington 9,892 19
Stockton-on-Tees 9,887 25
Torbay 9,831 29
Lancashire 9,773 22
Peterborough 9,764 28
Dudley 9,759 23
Luton 9,751 28
Plymouth 9,727 27
Kirklees 9,697 24
Stockport 9,688 19
Leeds 9,642 27
Tower Hamlets 9,629 36
Medway 9,600 22
Southampton 9,567 27
Slough 9,535 23
Southend-on-Sea 9,527 25
Lewisham 9,494 29
Sheffield 9,482 28
Lambeth 9,461 29
Bedford 9,443 19
Newham 9,408 33
Hackney 9,388 35
Islington 9,381 33
Brighton and Hove 9,380 23
Cumbria 9,360 21
Reading 9,348 19
Waltham Forest 9,327 30
Bournemouth 9,263 22
Greenwich 9,211 26
Cheshire West and Chester 9,095 18
Bristol, City of 9,085 27
Northamptonshire 9,068 19
Southwark 9,036 29
Lincolnshire 9,014 21
Nottinghamshire 9,001 19
Milton Keynes 8,985 18
Herefordshire, County of 8,976 20
Swindon 8,926 18
Derbyshire 8,921 19
Thurrock 8,913 22
East Riding of Yorkshire 8,912 16
Haringey 8,890 31
Staffordshire 8,890 16
North Somerset 8,858 16
Shropshire 8,818 17
Worcestershire 8,814 18
Cornwall 8,790 24
Trafford 8,777 15
Hillingdon 8,667 18
East Sussex 8,656 19
York 8,641 12
Warwickshire 8,627 15
Croydon 8,622 24
Cheshire East 8,612 14
Hammersmith and Fulham 8,604 24
Havering 8,537 18
Norfolk 8,499 21
North Yorkshire 8,429 15
Hounslow 8,417 22
Solihull 8,370 17
Wandsworth 8,336 18
Isle of Wight 8,335 23
Kent 8,268 19
Redbridge 8,259 20
Somerset 8,246 18
Essex 8,194 17
Ealing 8,179 24
West Sussex 8,176 14
Bexley 8,160 16
Leicestershire 8,148 12
Devon 8,146 17
Poole 8,136 15
Rutland 8,131 10
Brent 8,104 27
Gloucestershire 8,055 15
Enfield 8,027 27
Suffolk 8,018 18
Sutton 7,996 15
Wiltshire 7,915 13
Merton 7,835 15
Camden 7,821 25
Dorset 7,798 14
Central Bedfordshire 7,798 12
West Berkshire 7,780 10
Windsor and Maidenhead 7,748 9
Bromley 7,719 15
Hertfordshire 7,601 12
Bracknell Forest 7,596 10
Barnet 7,538 18
Cambridgeshire 7,513 13
Bath and North East Somerset 7,512 12
Oxfordshire 7,494 12
Hampshire 7,438 12
South Gloucestershire 7,389 11
Buckinghamshire 7,384 10
Harrow 7,365 14
Westminster 7,254 28
Kingston upon Thames 7,196 11
Surrey 7,154 9
Wokingham 6,888 6
Richmond upon Thames 6,734 10
Kensington and Chelsea 6,578 23

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