Podcast: What’s going on with life expectancy?

The increase in life expectancy in England has almost “ground to a halt” since 2010 and austerity measures are likely to be a significant contributor | BMJ Talk Medicine

In this podcast Michael Marmot, director at University College London’s Institute of Health Equity, joins us to discuss what might be causing that drop off, and why a decrease in early life chances is particularly problematic.

Read more about the report here

Reducing health inequalities: Marmot indicators 2017

This briefing provides an update on progress since the 2008 Marmot Review into the most effective evidence-based strategies for reducing health inequalities in England. | The Institute of Health Equity 

This update finds that improvements on life expectancy at birth and remaining life expectancy at 65 have slowed since 2010. The analysis also finds that inequalities within and between local authorities have persisted.

Full document: Marmot Indicators Briefing 2017 – updated

Additional links: BBC News report | AgeUK

Health Equity Report: Focus On Ethnicity

This report presents analysis and commentary on inequalities for 18 indicators from the Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF) | Public Health England (PHE) 

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PHE is using the PHOF indicators to monitor progress to reduce health inequalities in England. This report brings together recent data and provides an indication of trends where possible. It is also designed to help health and social care organisations understand inequalities for different populations and supports these organisations to address the inequalities in health outcomes.

Health equity in England

A report on health equity in England focusing on inequalities between ethnic groups.

Millions of children in England living vulnerable or high risk lives

The Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, is today (Tuesday 4 July) publishing new analysis that reveals, for the first time, the scale of vulnerability among children in England.

  • Almost 700,000 children are living in families that have vulnerabilities, including over 15,000 children living with an adult receiving alcohol treatment and nearly 12,000 living with an adult in drug treatment.
  • 580,000 children – equivalent to the population of Manchester – are so vulnerable that the state has to step in and provide direct care, intervention or support.
  • 370,000 children whose actions have put their futures at risk, including 160,000 children temporarily or permanently excluded from school in England.
  • 800,000 children aged 5 to 17 suffer mental health disorders.
  • 200,000 children are judged by their local authority to have experienced trauma or abuse.
  • An estimated 46,000 children are thought to be part of a gang.
  • 119,000 children are homeless or living in insecure or unstable housing.
  • 170,000 children are estimated to do unpaid caring for family members, of which many have not been identified and offered support.
  • 1,200 children are newly identified victims of modern slavery per year.

Full report available here

Large health inequalities across England revealed

New report shows there are stark differences in how long people in different parts of England can expect to live a healthy life. | ONS | via Cancer Research UK

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report from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows that people in areas with the highest healthy life expectancy will live longer without health problems than people in areas with the lowest expectancy.

Life expectancy in England has been increasing consistently since 1951, but varies by location. Men living in the least deprived areas live on average 9.2 years longer than men living in the most deprived areas. For women this gap is 7.1 years. There is an even greater difference in the quality of those years lived. Healthy life expectancy (HLE), or the number of years one could expect to live in good health, in England is 64.1 years for women and 63.4 for men.

Men living in the most deprived areas of England can expect to lead a healthy life for nearly 19 years less than men living in the least deprived.  The difference for women is 19.6 years. Heath inequalities between the north and south of England were also highlighted, as 6 of the top 7 areas with the highest healthy life expectancy were in the south, and all of the top 6 areas with the lowest expectancy were in the north.

The report looked at information on health-related lifestyle factors such as smoking, obesity, physical activity and diet.

Full report: An overview of lifestyles and wider characteristics linked to Healthy Life  Expectancy in England: June 2017 | ONS

The social barriers to an active society are being ignored

The simplicity of exhorting people to “be more active” belies how complicated it can be to put this into practice. Increasing physical activity requires individuals to do things differently | The Conversation

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Can individuals alone make the changes that are required? Public health campaigns imply that they can, focusing on how to live a healthier, more active life. But do the roots of inactivity really lie only in the behaviour, decisions and motivations of individuals? Or are there wider factors which need to be recognised and addressed?

Plenty of evidence suggests that external influences are also important, and there is mileage in ensuring that these elements are integrated into addressing individual behaviour.

Consider, for example, the challenge of raising physical activity levels among older people. This is a priority for public health given the predicted 89.3% increase in the numbers of older adults to 9.9m in the UK by 2039. According to Sport England, 54% of those aged 75 and above are doing less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week.

Full blog post here