Published on 30/08/2012
Official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that people in the UK are spending more of their lives in good health.
Healthy life expectancy (HLE) for UK residents increased by more than two years in the period 2008-10 compared with 2005-7, with more than four fifths of a lifetime now being spent in good health from birth. Ed Jessop, Vice President of the Faculty of Public Health said:
"These figures are encouraging. They show that action on public health works.”
Whilst the statistics indicate that men spend a greater proportion of their lives in favourable health compared to women, the ONS figures also show that the health of women has improved more rapidly than for men in recent years.
Experts suggest that this may be due to higher rates of obesity, alcohol consumption and smoking among men. Mutations in mitochondrial DNA are also thought to contribute towards ageing in men but not women.
But although the proportion of life spent in good health has increased in England and Wales, it has fallen in Scotland and Northern and Ireland, which have a higher incidence of poor health in the population.
Ed Jessop said: “There are many complex reasons for this, because our health is affected by a range of factors - not just what we eat or drink, and how active we are, but also our work, housing and access to all sorts of facilities.”
Ros Altmann, director of over 50s group Saga, believes that improvements in drugs and treatment have helped increase the healthy life expectancy in the UK. She commented: “Medical advances have brought such success in helping people live longer.”
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012Categories: Health