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VITALITY IN OUR VINTAGE YEARS: Life expectancy in Britain is longer than ever before

VITALITY IN OUR VINTAGE YEARS: Life expectancy in Britain is longer than ever before

Over 65s in England living longer than ever

A report from Public Health England says older people in England are living longer than ever before.

Figures show that for those aged 65, men can expect to live for another 19 years and women can enjoy a further 21 years on planet earth.

However, there are concerns that too many elderly people aren’t as healthy as they could be.

The figures vary across the country, with the North East and North West having lower life expectancies for 65-year-olds than other regions.

Life expectancy among older age groups in England rose to its highest level in 2014 - with male life expectancy increasing by 0.3 years at age 65 and 0.2 years at ages 75, 85 and 95 since 2013.

Female life expectancy increased by the same amounts at the same ages.

The exception is females aged 85. Despite the rise in 2014, this is still at the same level as in 2011.

As before, there is variation in the figures for regions and local authorities. In all but one region of England, male and female life expectancy at age 65 increased between 2013 and 2014 and is higher in 2014 than in any other year presented. The exception is the North East, where male life expectancy was highest in 2013.

The majority of local authorities showed an increase or no change in life expectancy at age 65, however one quarter showed a decrease.

Professor John Newton, Chief Knowledge Officer at Public Health England said: “Overall the report presents a positive picture nationally and life expectancy is the highest it’s been since we started measuring.

“People in England are living longer than ever and that makes achieving a good quality of life in later years even more important. Our current evidence shows that people are living longer but many are doing so in poor health.

“This report is an opportunity to remind people that, even during mid-life, it is not too late to improve your health. Most of us could make changes today, like stopping smoking, being more active or eating better, that would allow us to look forward to healthier later years.

“The reasons for the variation in trend between local areas are not yet clear. PHE will continue to monitor these trends and analyse the data for 2015 as soon as possible.

Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor of Human Geography, University of Oxford said: “Although national average life expectancy continues to rise, in many parts of England improvements have stalled in recent years.

“There is an urgent need to determine why this is happening. Beneath the headline figures of this report there is evidence of worsening health for many older people in some parts of the country.”

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