’Health of people in Doncaster is worse than average’

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Men in poverty-stricken parts of Doncaster die a decade younger than those living in the most affluent areas, according to a new report revealing major health divisions.

NHS figures reveal the gap in male life expectancy is almost 17 years when compared to some parts of the borough.

The report found a smaller difference between life expectancy for women in rich and poor areas.

A profile of the borough published by the NHS warns health is generally worse than average for England and draws attention to the gap in life expectancy.

The difference between women in rich and poor parts of Doncaster is 7.1 years, the report says.

Statisticians behind the report say the figures apply to those born this year.

The report states: “The health of people in Doncaster is generally worse than the England average. Deprivation is higher than average and 14,825 children live in poverty. Life expectancy is lower than the England average.

“Life expectancy is 10 years lower for men and 7.1 years lower for women in the most deprived areas of Doncaster than in the least deprived.”

It also warns one in five Year 6 school pupils are classified as obese, and although early deaths from cancer, heart disease and stroke have fallen they are still worse than the national average.

Officials at Doncaster Primary Care Trust, which is responsible for public health in the borough, revealed the lowest life expectancy for men was in Denaby Main, at 69.8, based on statistics drawn up from community profiles from the period 2004-08. Lower Wheatley was the second lowest, at 70.

The highest life expectancies were in Old Cantley, at 86.4, and Hooton Pagnell, at 85.3.

For women, those living in Stainforth died youngest on average at 75.9, slightly younger than those in Edlington, at 76.8.

The longest life expectancies were in Finningley, at 95.9 and Sykehouse, where the figure was 91.3.

NHS Doncaster’s deputy director of public health, Dr Robert Suckling, said millions of pounds had been spent on dealing with health inequalities in the borough.

He said the publication confirmed what health bosses already knew.

He said: “Although life expectancy is increasing and death rates from major killer illnesses is falling, the 10 year gap in men is still there.

“Key contributors appear to be lifestyle issues such as smoking and alcohol and men’s attitudes to accessing preventative services and healthcare in general - men tend to be more reluctant to visit the doctor than women.

“Other issues are factors like long term unemployment and deprivation.”

Doncaster Coun Chris Mills, who was brought up in Denaby and now represents the former pit village on Doncaster Council, said she does not want the disparities to continue.

She said: “Of course I’m concerned, but I don’t think this is something that is just an issue in Doncaster communities. I would hope that the health provision now in place in the area will help address the difference.

“There are bound to be historic factors, as many of those living locally have been in jobs that could have affected their health in their younger years. Many have industrial or mining backgrounds and that could have a part to play.”

She added she hoped the recent construction of a modern health centre in Denaby would improve life expectancy in the village in the future.