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Clear divide in 'good health' years

Men are likely to live nearly 18 years longer in good health in a Berkshire town than if they live in an inner east London borough, according to figures.

There is also a clear North-South divide in how long people are expected to live in good health, while males spend a higher proportion (80%) of their lives in good health than females (77%), according to t he Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Their figures show that men in Wokingham could expect to live 17.8 years longer in good health than males in the London borough of Tower Hamlets (71.4 years compared with 53.6 years).

Females in the North East had a lower healthy life expectancy than males in any other part of the country, while females in Rutland in the East Midlands could expect to live 15.8 years longer in good health than those in the east London borough of Barking and Dagenham (71.3 years compared with 55.5 years).

The ONS found a 16-year gap in people living in good health between areas in London just 15 miles apart .

The largest difference in healthy life expectancy between the sexes was in Camden, where females could expect to live 6.7 years longer in good health than males.

The ONS said the figures provide a "snapshot" of the heath status of people in England from 2011 to 2013 based on the question of whether their health was very good, good, fair, bad or very bad.

The South East, South West and the East of England all have a significantly higher healthy life expectancy than the England average, while it is significantly lower in the North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the West Midlands.

The London borough of Richmond (69.7), Surrey (68.7), Wiltshire (68.5) and West Berkshire (68.4), followed Wokingham in the areas that had the highest health life expectancy for men.

For women, after Rutland was Richmond (71.2), Windsor and Maidenhead (71.2), Wokingham (69.9) and Surrey (69.5).

At the other end of the scale, Blackpool (54.9), Leicester (56.1), Hartlepool (56.3) and Barnsley (56.3) completed the top five places men had the lowest healthy life expectancy, while for women they were Barnsley (56.2), Manchester (56.8), Hull (56.9) and Telford and Wrekin (57.1).

Although females could expect to live a longer life, males generally expect to spend a larger proportion of their lives in good general health compared with females.

The figures follow on from data released earlier this month by the ONS which showed that children in the poorest areas of England can expect to live nearly 20 fewer years in good health than those in the richest areas.

Boys in the most deprived areas could expect to live 52.2 years in good health, compared with 70.5 years in the least deprived areas, while girls in the poorest communities could expect to live 52.4 years in good health compared with 71.3 years in the richest places.

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