People from the north more likely to die from 'diseases of despair', finds study

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People from the north of England are more likely to die from so-called “diseases of despair”, according to an alarming new analysis.

Poverty and lack of opportunity are factors behind the growing geographical health gap which is most dramatic in early adulthood, researchers say.

People aged 35-44 in the north are 49 per cent more likely to die than in the south – a disparity that has grown from just three per cent in the 1960s.

Those aged 25-34 are 29 per cent more likely to die early – up from two per cent 50 years ago.

The findings in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggest that 2,698 people aged 25-44 died in the north in 2015 but would have survived had they lived in the south.

Drugs, suicide and liver disease caused by alcohol – so-called “diseases of despair” – are among the biggest killers.

Lead researcher Iain Buchan, from the University of Manchester, told The Times: “It is unprecedented. “From the 1960s through the 1970s and 1980s there was no difference in the death rates of young people but a large gap opens up in the mid-1990s.

“There’s a stagnation of progress in the north.”


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