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Gap in life expectancy widens between rich and poor areas of UK, says ONS

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Gap in life expectancy widens between rich and poor areas of UK, says ONS

Latest findings show the gap between the health of areas with the highest and lowest life expectancies (at birth) has increased sharply from 9.8 to 11.3 years for males and from 8.2 to 10.1 years for females between 2003 and 2009.

At age 65, the gap increased from 6.7 to 8.5 years for men and from 6.3 to 8.3 years for women.

According to statistics from the Office for National Statistics, released yesterday, the UK life expectancy at birth improved from 76.5 to 77.9 years for males and from 80.9 to 82.0 years for females, between 2003-05 and 2007-09.

At health area level, life expectancy at birth was consistently highest in Kensington and Chelsea and at age 65 throughout the 2003-05 to 2007-09 period for both sexes. The health areas with the lowest life expectancies at birth and at age 65 over the 2003-05 to 2007-09 period were Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Hartlepool, Western Isles, Liverpool and Blackburn with Darwen.

Commenting on the statistics on longevity published today (Wednesday) that show the gap between the life expectancies of people living in deprived and prosperous areas has increased sharply, TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "This reveals the unfairness in the Government's plans to speed up the increase in the state pension age, particularly for women.

"In just four years, the difference between the life expectancy of women in Notting Hill and those in Glasgow has increased by two whole years. Women living in the poorest areas will lose significantly more of their retirement years than those living in wealthy Britain.

"It is no wonder that MPs of all parties are rebelling against the Government's new timetable for women's pension age in the Pensions Act currently before Parliament, especially as the new timetable breaches last year's coalition agreement."