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South Norfolk and Broads are the best places to live in county for a longer life

PUBLISHED: 16:47 24 October 2018 | UPDATED: 08:30 25 October 2018

People living in socially deprived areas in Norfolk can expect to die sooner than those in affluent areas of the county. Picture Getty Images/iStockphoto.

People living in socially deprived areas in Norfolk can expect to die sooner than those in affluent areas of the county. Picture Getty Images/iStockphoto.

Katarzyna Bialasiewicz Photographee.eu

People living in socially deprived areas in Norfolk can expect to die sooner than those in affluent areas of the county.

A woman’s life expectancy can vary by almost 14 years, while for men, the figure can vary by 13 years, according to a report to county councillors.

It says females in parts of Broadland can expect to live for 91 years, while those in West Norfolk may only reach 77.

Males in South Norfolk can expect to live for 85 years while for those in Great Yarmouth the life expectancy is 71.

Prof Nicholas Steel, clinical senior lecturer of primary care at the University of East Anglia, said: “It’s such a huge difference, linked to deprivation.

“Higher death rates in heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease and accidental deaths, such as suicide, are linked to major risk factors such as smoking, poor diet and alcoholism.

“Variations link high risk factors to deprivation with 15pc smokers and one in 10 adults are alcohol dependant, all is much lower in better areas of the county.”

Elizabeth Nockolds, West Norfolk council’s cabinet member for culture, heritage and health, said: “It’s disappointing, but life expectancy in West Norfolk as a whole is roughly the same as in England. Sadly in the borough we do have deprived areas where the life expectancy is less. We do constantly try and help people to live healthier lifestyles but working in partnership with Active Norfolk and schools to educate, and hopefully it gets taken on board.”

The report to councillors, by Norfolk’s public health director Dr Louise Smith, said: “We may be seeing life expectancy stalling and healthy life expectancy decreasing.

“Changing lifestyles can prevent the onset and reduce the severity of long-term illnesses. Higher levels of risk occur more in deprived areas and there are differences in life expectancy of about 13 years across the county.”

Norfolk County Council leader Andrew Proctor, said: “This report sheds more light on the health challenges facing this county. We’re facing a situation where people live longer, but with longer periods of ill-health.”

David Siderfin, chairman of Diss U3A, one of a network of groups of retired and semi-retired people who continue their educational, social and creative interests, said membership in South Norfolk was growing.

“We now have 335 members and you are never too old to learn,” he said. “I am 79 and I think the secret of an longer life and keeping things going is interests and physical activity, walking or playing sports.

“We have a monthly meeting with a speaker and about 40 interest groups. There are some people who don’t have much in the way of friends and acquaintances that come along. We do have members who die of course, but not that often actually.”

The report is set to be discussed by the authority’s policy and resources committee on Monday (10am).

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