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Belfast has ‘worst health outcomes’ in Northern Ireland

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It has been revealed in a new report by Belfast Healthy Cities that the capital city has some of the worst health outcomes in Northern Ireland.

Uptake for breast, bowel and cervical cancer screening was also worse in Belfast than in other localities, particularly in deprived areas.

The Data Behind the People and The City report by the non-profit organisation also found life expectancy was lower for men and women in Belfast, both at birth and at the age of 65.

Between 2018 and 2020, life expectancy for the whole of Northern Ireland was 78.7 years for men and 82.4 for women.

But in Belfast, it was almost three years fewer for men at 75.8 years and almost two years fewer for women at 80.5 years.

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Data was sourced from a number of bodies, including Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA); the Department of Health; Queen's University Belfast and Ulster University.

It covers the financial year 2019/20 or a data sampling point at March/April 2020.

Joan Devlin, chief executive of Belfast Health Cities, said: "Health is not only about the health service".

"If we look at how people access services, there is a high number of families, for instance in north Belfast, who don't have access to a private car and are highly dependent on public transport in order to access health services.

"They might have to rely on taxis instead and this could be why they miss appointments, so access to public transport, to education and a job with an appropriate income are all key."

Among Belfast's assembly areas, Belfast South had the highest life expectancy at birth for both men and women while Belfast West had the lowest life expectancy at birth for men and women.

Risk factors such as cigarette smoking and alcohol use was examined in the report.

The percentage of people living in the Belfast Health Trust area and who reported drinking alcohol was higher than all other health trusts.

Men are three times more likely to be admitted to hospital for alcohol-related causes than women.


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