There’s an average 9.5-year gap between the census wards with highest and lowest life expectancy across every local authority in England and Wales, reveals a new analysis published by men’s health charity, the Men’s Health Forum, ahead of Men’s Health Week.
The widest gap across England and Wales is between Warfield Harvest Ride census ward in Bracknell Forest, which has a male life expectancy of 90, and Bloomfield ward in Blackpool, which has a male life expectancy of 68 – a total of 22 years.
The life expectancy gap is even wider than that between the sexes, says the charity.
The biggest gap within a local authority is in Wrexham, Wales, where there’s a 17-year gap in men’s life expectancy between the Marford and Hoseley census ward and the Gwersyllt West census ward.
In England, North Somerset has a 16-year gap in men’s life expectancy between the Gordano ward and Weston-super-Mare Central.
In London, the biggest gap is in Westminster, with a 14-year male life-expectancy gap between Knightsbridge & Belgravia ward and Westbourne ward.
What’s more, the analysis suggests life expectancy among less affluent communities appears to be going down.
The charity’s chief executive, Martin Tod, commented: “Although men on average don’t live as long as women, the gap in life expectancy between men in the richest and poorest areas is much, much bigger than the gap between men and women.
“Men face a bigger life expectancy gap than women. That’s one reason why, shockingly, one UK man in five in the UK still doesn’t live until 65.”
He added: “There’s a big difference in deaths from suicide, heart disease, diabetes and cancer – not just between men and women, but also between men in different areas. We can’t afford any complacency: we want the government to ensure that there is targeted support where the need is greatest.”
This year Men’s Health Week is focused on ‘men’s health by numbers’, he said. “We want every man to know where they are on weight, waist, blood pressure, alcohol, diet and exercise. But we want the government to ensure that there’s a Men's Health Action Plan for every area which targets men with the poorest health so that they get the extra support they need.”
This needed to include extra support for mental health and suicide prevention, targeted NHS health checks to help tackle heart disease and better tailored programmes for men in the greatest need, he explained.