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NI life expectancy the lowest in UK

By Victoria O'Hara

Published 23/09/2015

The average life expectancy in Northern Ireland is lower than the rest of the UK.

A disturbing new report also showed that people living in more deprived areas experience major health gaps, suffer from more ill health and die younger.

Despite people living longer compared to 30 years ago, men and women in Northern Ireland still have shorter lives than anywhere else in the UK.

Life expectancy was 1.3 years lower for males in Northern Ireland than in England and 0.7 years lower for females.

The average life expectancy for men is 77 and 82 for a woman.

However, a man living in a deprived town or city will, on average, live four years less and a woman three years less.

Among the most deprived areas in Northern Ireland are north and west Belfast which include Whiterock, Falls, New Lodge, Shankill and Ardoyne.

Meanwhile, the report also showed that if you live in rural areas it takes ambulances 70% longer to respond to calls than the regional average and fire crews take 83% longer to arrive at 999 calls.

Dr John O'Kelly, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said the existing health gap was disturbing and poverty-led.

"It is quite disturbing when you see we have such a range of life expectancy," he said.

"I think, without doubt, people die earlier because of health inequality."

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