Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The North -North Divide

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The North -North Divide

Article excerpt

Byline: Audrey Forbes

Communities on Teesside have some of the highest differences in life expectancy in the country, new research has revealed.

The huge inconsistencies are most prevalent in Middlesbrough where rates vary from 71 years old to 81 years - depending on where you live.

Highest life expectancy can be found in areas such as Nunthorpe, Marton and Acklam while the lowest runs through 14 wards including Middlehaven and Gresham.

The lowest life expectancy falls in line with all but one of the most deprived wards and Middlesbrough as a whole has some of the lowest life expectancy in the country.

Stockton has varied life expectancy of eight years between 73 and 81 years depending on where you live while people in Redcar and Cleveland face variances of seven years between 74 and 81 years.

Darlington shows a gap of 10 years while Hartlepool has a variance of seven. The national life expectancy is 78 years old.

Professor John Wilkinson, director of the North East Public Health Observatory (NEPHO), said: "Ten years is a huge difference - one of the biggest in the country.

"It is very stark when you see it in these kind of terms like Middlesbrough. We haven't seen the totality of the picture before.

"When you drill down into districts you see quite distinct variances.

"It's not surprising but it is of great concern that the extent of this particular difference is actually so great.

"And it's right across the patch in Stockton and Redcar & Cleveland too."

The NEPHO based at Durham University's Queen's Campus in Stockton is one of nine across England which has collected the information during the last year.

The varied life expectancy in areas of Teesside can be linked with deprivation although that is not the sole reason.

Prof Wilkinson said: "Employment, lifestyle habits like smoking and obesity which we know are related to some social differences.

"Some of it is culture as some people think how they live won't make a difference. …

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