Belfast Telegraph

Limerick tops death rate table

Single men living in a council house in Limerick have the lowest life expectancy in the country, official figures have revealed.

Opting to live in the countryside with your own house and being well educated appears to be the key to a longer life, according to the 2006/07 data from the Central Statistics Office.

It revealed the death rate for people living in cities or towns is higher than in rural areas, with Limerick faring the worst in the urban table.

Labour TD Jan O'Sullivan revealed she was shocked by the findings, but claimed there is less of a social mix in Limerick than other places.

She said: "Limerick generally has bad figures in terms of a number of indicators in the CSO. We're high in poverty, we're high in lone parenthood."

Key findings of the Mortality Differentials in Ireland report reveal that life expectancy for men living in the most deprived areas of the state was 73.7 years in 2006/2007, compared with 78 for those in the most affluent areas. The corresponding figure for women was 80 and 82.7 respectively.

A 35-year-old man educated to primary level will live for another 41.3 years, but that rose to 44.5 years for those with a secondary school education and 46.9 for those who were educated further. The corresponding figure for a 35-year-old woman was 45.6, 48.5 and 50.4.

The report also indicated that married people had a mortality rate of 797 per 100,000, compared with 1,082 for single people. The death rate for urban dwellers was 715 per 100,000, compared with 655 in rural areas. Limerick had the highest rate at 785, with Dublin the lowest at 686.

Home-owners had a mortality rate of 489, compared with those in private rented accommodation at 539 and local authority housing at 757.

Ms O'Sullivan added: "Clearly this is something that needs to be addressed, not just by the health services but across the board. I think we need a much more holistic approach to the categories of people in our society who are more prone to illness and early death."

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