One in five baby boys born in the Manchester city district will not reach retirement age, claims figures from the Office of National Statistics.
The statistics reveal that 20% of males in Manchester city authority will not make it to 65 years of age. The area is in the UK’s top-five districts with the lowest life expectancy.
The results from Manchester City district are a far cry from the likes South Buckinghamshire, which came top with seven per cent and David Cameron’s stomping round West Oxfordshire which got 11%.
Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell slammed Cameron and told MM: “Manchester City Council has suffered drastic cuts which threaten vital services whilst councils in the leafy south, like in David Cameron’s own constituency, have been completely protected against cuts.
“There is too much disparity in our country and the Tories and the Lib Dems in this Government want to make it more unequal rather than less.”
The Labour representative added: “It is simply wrong that the most deprived local authorities and those that can least afford it are being hit hardest and this will make health outcomes even worse for my constituents.”
A variety of different factors have been put forward to explain the low life expectancy for some areas in Greater Manchester.
Chronic illnesses due to alcohol, drug and tobacco dependency have a serious impact on long-term health as do stress, neglect and poor living conditions brought on by poverty.
Professor of Public Health at the University of Salford Eileen Fairhust said: “A whole constellation of things can have an impact on health status.”
Fairhurst sat on The Greater Manchester Poverty Commission last year, which was set up to determine the overall extent of poverty, areas effected and the impacts of poverty within Greater Manchester.
She warned: “Whether your parents are in work and their level of education down to even things like car ownership can impact on long-term health. When you are in an area of deprivation, you are also more likely to have parents with chronic illnesses and develop them yourself.
“We are a rich country, despite the consequences of the economic downturn. The welfare changes have not helped to reduce health and inequality.”
Greater Manchester as a region did not fare well generally in the stats released.
In eight of the ten areas, the estimates found that more than 15% of males in the region are likely to die before collecting their first pension packet – with areas such as Wigan, Bury, Salford and Rochdale among the area’s worst offenders.
Stockport came out top in the figures, with 12% of the male population expected to make it to 65 – but harsh inequalities are still evident in the Cheshire town.
The town’s suburb Bramhall has a male life expectancy of 84 years, longer than any country in the world whereas Brinnington, just five miles away has a male life-expectancy average 13 years shorter at just 71 years.
Area Manager for the child poverty Children Society Rob Jackson said: “These results are deeply shocking. There are many deep rooted issues within Greater Manchester which provides a challenge to us all.
“There are 150,000 children living in poverty in Greater Manchester – that’s only slightly less than the entire population of Bury.
“Greater Manchester has had a lot of regeneration, a lot of change, but perhaps some of that is physical, and I think there is a recognition now that we need to do more to help families to change their lives.
“Manchester City Council is good at working with the charity sector – but there does need to be more collaboration and partnership.”
Manchester charity Tobacco Free Futures has also warned that use is highest in areas with the most deprivation and often the poorer you are the more likely you are to smoke and die a smoking related death.
The charity’s Chief Executive Andrea Crossfield said: “In Manchester, it is estimated that 825 people die from smoking every year – which is the highest rate of smoking-attributable mortality in England.
“This isn’t just a figure. Children whose parents smoke are much more likely to grow up to smoke themselves and so, in our poorest communities, there has been an inter-generational cycle of smoking, leading to a vicious cycle of dependence on tobacco and poorer health.”
Manchester City Council is responsible for promoting and protecting the health and well-being of people in the city. They took over the responsibility from the NHS in 2013.
When approached about the latest figures, Director of Public Health for Manchester David Regan said: “We already know that Manchester, which has areas of high deprivation, has poor life expectancy in comparison to other parts of the country and we need to tackle this.
He added: “However, we have made significant progress in terms of reducing mortality rates, and these represent a major achievement when set against the continuing and enduring levels of deprivation and ill-health in the city.”
“Manchester’s health and care providers are resolute in working together to provide joined-up, integrated services for residents which is fundamental in providing better, coordinated care as part of our Living Longer, Living Better strategy for Manchester.”
Image courtesy of gabi menashe with thanks