Girls born in Sheffield face more than 20 years of poor health in old age, study reveals

Girls born in Sheffield face more than 20 years of poor health in later life, official figures have revealed.

Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 2:36 pm

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that girls born in Sheffield between 2016 and 2018 have an average life expectancy of 82.3 years, which is below the UK average of 82.9.In addition, their healthy life expectancy is 60.2 years, meaning they will spend an anticipated 22.1 years struggling with their wellbeing.

Healthy life expectancy is partly based on a survey in which people are asked about their general health. People who answer that it is ‘very good' or ‘good’ are classed as having good health, while those answering ‘fair’, ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ have poorer health.

Angus Hanton, co-founder of the Intergenerational Foundation, which promotes intergenerational fairness, said: “Unless urgent action is taken, we could be consigning children born today, and particularly those from more deprived areas, to longer periods of ill health in old age. This is preventable but it needs commitment from the new government to prioritise funding.”

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

A baby girl

In comparison, boys born in the city between 2016 and 2018 have an average life expectancy of 79.4 years, and can expect to live 61.8 of those in good health on average. That leaves 17.6 years they would spend in worse health.

The picture in Sheffield was different to that across the UK, where the amount of time spent in poorer health increased for both sexes over the period.

Across the UK, average life expectancy at birth for men in 2016 to 2018 was 79.3 years, while women were expected to live 82.9 years.