Life expectancy in England has failed to increase for the first time in more than 100 years – and it is a damning indictment on the progress made by society, says Sir Michael Marmot.
His Marmot Review into health inequalities was first published in 2010, but returned today 10 years on to paint a grim picture of life in poverty in England.
He found that the more deprived the area, the shorter the life expectancy, with the poorest 10 per cent of women actually seeing their life expectancy decline for the first time between 2010-12 and 2016-18.
Health is the nation’s top priority, new programme of spending must improve length and quality of life for everyone – new health inequalities strategy needed, to be led by the PM #Marmot2020 @TheMarmotReview https://t.co/xXQZqUPRHZ pic.twitter.com/uBInaZ8e14
— IHE (Marmot Review) (@TheMarmotReview) February 25, 2020
That set the tone for a review which concluded that health inequalities have increased in the last decade. Sir Marmot confirmed an increase in the north/south health gap, with neighbourhoods in the North East among the most deprived areas in England seeing the largest decrease in life expectancy. By contrast, the largest increases came in the least deprived neighbourhoods in London.
This was not down to severe winters or flu, insists Sir Marmot, with the slow-down in life expectancy significantly more marked than in most European and other high-income countries bar the USA.