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Life Expectancy

Introduction

Life expectancy is considered to be the ultimate measure of the health and wellbeing in an area and a tool for identifying health inequality. To this end it is the overarching outcome of the Department of Health Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF)

This indicator gives context to healthy life expectancy figures by providing information on the estimated length of life. The two indicators are extremely important summary measures of mortality and morbidity. They complement other PHOF indicators by showing the overall trends in major population health measures, setting the context in which local authorities and partners can assess the other indicators and identify the drivers of life expectancy and healthy life expectancy.

The indicator measures the average number of years a person would expect to live based on contemporary mortality rates. For a particular area and time period, it is an estimate of the average number of years at age 65 a person would survive if he or she experienced the age-specific mortality rates for that area and time period throughout his or her life after that age.

Figures are calculated from deaths from all causes and mid-year population estimates, based on data aggregated over a three year period. Figures reflect mortality among those living in an area in each time period, rather than what will be experienced throughout life among those born in the area. The figures are not therefore the number of years a baby born in the area could actually expect to live, both because the mortality rates of the area are likely to change in the future and because many of those born in the area will live elsewhere for at least some part of their lives.

What do we know?

Nationally there were 1.1% fewer deaths registered in England and Wales in 2014 compared to 2013. Age standardised morality rates continue to fall and have fallen by 20% for males and 17% for females since 2004.

Cancers were the cause of the majority of deaths (29%). When broken down by gender, the leading cause of death for males was ischaemic heart disease (14.8%) and the leading cause of death for females was dementia and Alzheimers disease (13.4%).

For 2012-2014 female life expectancy at birth across England and Wales is 83.1 years and the male life expectancy is 79.4 years

For 2012-2014 female life expectancy at age 65 plus across England and Wales is 21.1 years and the male life expectancy is 18.7 years.

The inequality between the local areas within England who have the highest and lowest newborn life expectancy has increased. This inequality is larger for males than it is for females.

Facts Figures and Trends

For 2012-2014 female life expectancy at birth across England and Wales is 83.1 years and the male life expectancy is 79.4 years

For 2012-2014 female life expectancy at age 65 plus across England and Wales is 21.1 years and the male life expectancy is 18.7 years.

The inequality between the local areas within England who have the highest and lowest newborn life expectancy has increased. This inequality is larger for males than it is for females.

Currently, life expectancy in Reading for both males and females is below the national and regional averages, males significantly so. Life expectancy in Reading from birth for males is 78 years and 83 years for females

Analysis of life expectancy at sub-local authority level shows the health equality differences within the borough. Life expectancy in Reading's wards are shown in Table 1 below

Table 1: Life Expectancy at Birth by Ward

Ward

Life expectancy at birth (years):

males (2008-10)

Life expectancy at birth (years): females (2008-10)

Whitley

76.6

80.6

Norcot

77.0

80.5

Church

75.7

80.7

Battle

78.3

82.8

Abbey

74.4

81.9

Southcote

77.5

84.2

Minster

73.6

79.3

Katesgrove

79.0

84.1

Caversham

78.7

83.7

Kentwood

77.4

81.4

Redlands

77.7

84.0

Tilehurst

79.0

84.4

Park

76.8

81.9

Peppard

81.5

87.0

Thames

82.1

85.7

Mapledurham

84.7

88.0

Reading

78.0

83.1

Source: Berkshire Public Health Shared Team ward profile dataset

Marmot indicators 2015

The Marmot Indicators 2015, published by the Institute of Healthy Equity, measure inequalities in health and life expectancy in every local authority in England. Healthy life expectancy is higher than the national average for both men and women. However, the inequality in life expectancy measure shows the variation within Reading and how much life expectancy varies with deprivation. For men, there is 10 years difference between the Lower Super Output Areas in the most deprived and least deprived deprivation deciles, compared with 5 for women.

Reading 2011-13

SE

England

Reading

2010-12

Healthy life expectancy at birth - Male (Years)

66.0

65.6

63.3

65.0

Healthy life expectancy at birth - female (Years)

66.0

66.7

63.9.

67.2

Inequality in life expectancy at birth - Male (Years)

10.2

n/a

17.3 (England worst)

9.2

Inequality in life expectancy at birth - Male (Years)

5.2

n/a

11.4 (England worst)

6.3

Source: Institute of Healthy Equity

National & Local Strategies (Current best practices)

See individual JSNA chapters for detailed discussion of current services for the major causes of death and disability.

What is this telling us?

There is a trend of increasing life expectancy (and lower premature death rates) with increasing affluence and that the health equality differences within the borough are quite large.

Emergency hospital admission rates also tend to occur more often from the more deprived areas implying a likely combination of people experiencing poorer health and having different healthcare-seeking behaviours. Just as there is variation between individual wards and Reading as a whole there will be variations within wards with pockets of deprivation and affluence existing side by side. Such intra-ward variations are likely to be the cause of some wards that are, overall, more affluent, having higher premature death rates than some others that are less affluent.

What are the key inequalities?

The Marmot Review of health inequalities demonstrates very clearly the relationship between social circumstances and health. There is a considerable and significant difference in life expectancy between people living in the richest and poorest neighbourhoods nationally as well as locally, and an even greater difference in disability free life expectancy. Thus, people in more deprived areas not only die sooner, but can expect to live more of their shorter lives with disability. This difference is not just between the richest and poorest in our society however, but is a graded relationship across all social positions.

What are the unmet needs / service gaps?

See Chapter on Main Causes of Death and Disability

The main unmet needs for Reading's residents concern sufficient services (including encouraging and enabling people to use them) to reduce the risk of avoidable disease. This is a common issue in many areas but one that is particularly important in view of the generally poorer health of people in Reading.

This section links to the following sections in the JSNA:

Common causes of death & disability

Smoking

Physical Activity

Obesity - adult & child

Drugs & Alcohol

References

Public Health England; Public Health Outcomes Framework: (2016) http://www.phoutcomes.info/

UCL Institute of Health Equity; Marmot Indicators (2015) http://www.instituteofhealthequity.org/resources-reports/marmot-indicators-2015

Poverty Needs Assessment, Reading Borough Council (2015) 

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