Life Expectancy Gap Needs Action

Poverty Some people walking past a shop
NewsOctober 20th, 2011

Bevan Foundation Director Victoria Winckler has called for more action to close the gap in life expectancy between rich and poor. Statistics published by the Office for National Statistics show that men living in Merthyr Tydfil are likely to live a decade less than men in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea, while women in Blaenau Gwent live 10 years less than those in the upmarket London borough.

Victoria Winckler said that though the statistics are not surprising, they should act as a wake-up call for the Welsh Government.  Places such as Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr carry a legacy of such diseases from the heavy industries that once dominated those areas.  “But”, she continued, “a more significant factor is the difference between high- and low-income groups.” She said the gap in life expectancy has widened because economic inequalities have grown over the same period.  And with the grim economic outlook Dr Winckler said she felt “very pessimistic” about the chances of places such as Merthyr and Blaenau Gwent closing the gap with affluent parts of the UK.




Tagged with: South Wales Valleys


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