Rising life expectancy in England has slowed since recession
In Hong Kong and Japan, life expectancy just keeps rising. But in England it has begun to stall, according to an analysis of the rates and causes of death.
Between 2000 and 2009, women in England were on average living a year longer every five years, and men every three-and-a-half years. But the latest data show that since 2010, these one-year increases are now occurring every 10 years for women, and six for men.
Marmot says the reasons for this slow-down are not clear, but notes that they have coincided with austerity programmes that have seen heavy cuts in health and social care spending in England. Prior to 2010, spending on the UK National Health Service rose around 3.8 per cent each year, but this has since fallen to 1.1 per cent a year, he says.
“There’s this stagnation, and we want to know how it varies with the extent of deprivation,” says Marmot.
The analysis also identified that dementia is now the leading cause of death in England and Wales for women over the age of 80, and men over the age of 85. Heart attacks were previously the biggest killers, but dementia deaths trebled in the over-85s between 2002 and 2015.
“We see this rise in dementia which is very troubling and requires an increase in spending on care, but instead we see spending going down,” says Marmot. He says it’s impossible to say with certainty that austerity is to blame for the increases in dementia deaths, but he argues that large deficits in spending are “bound to have an impact on health”.
Marmot suggests that increasing annual funding by 2 per cent above inflation would likely be needed to bring care back to adequate levels.
However, it’s possible that part of the reason dementia has risen as a cause of death is because other causes are becoming less common. Recent progress in looking after heart and blood vessel health mean things like heart attacks are becoming less common.
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via New Scientist – News http://ift.tt/1Sl3dlX
July 17, 2017 at 08:54PM