UK women have 'second worst' life expectancy

28 September 2015 09:33

Women in the UK can expect shorter lives than most of their peers in Europe

Women in the UK can expect shorter lives than most of their peers in Europe

Women in the UK do not live as long as most of their European counterparts, according to a report.

The World Health Organisation's (WHO) European Health Report 2015 reveals they have the second worst life expectancy among 15 countries in Europe, with only those in Denmark expecting a shorter life.

In comparison, men in the UK can expect to live as long as their European peers.

'Deeply concerning'

Life expectancy for UK women born in 2011 stood at 82.7 years, behind the majority of developed countries in Europe, including Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and Greece.

Death rates among women aged 30 to 74 nationwide were also high and above the European average, as were death rates among all women from cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and diseases of the digestive system.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, describes the findings as "deeply concerning".

She points out that even within England, women in the areas with the highest life expectancy live almost seven years longer than those with the lowest.

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Overweight nation

The report also suggests the UK is a nation that is overweight.

Some 63.4% of people are classed as overweight and 28.1% are obese, significantly higher compared to the European averages of 56.9% and 22.7%.

Death rates among men in the UK aged 30 to 44 were above the European average.

But death rates among all men nationwide from cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and diseases of the digestive system were decreasing and in line with the other developed countries of Europe.

Across Europe as a whole, the report says levels of alcohol consumption, tobacco use and the number of people who are overweight or obese, which are among the major risk factors for early death, remain high.

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