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Life expectancy of British adults reduces by six months

The life expectancy of British men and women has fallen by six months, according to new estimations.

Figures from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries found men aged 65 are now expected to die at 86.9 years, down from its previous estimate of 87.4 years in 2017.

Meanwhil, women who reach the age of 65 are likely to die at 89.2 years, a drop from 89.7 years, which it estimated in 2017.

The Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI), which carried out the study on behalf of the institute, said it was now ‘widely accepted’ that since 2011, improvements in life expectancy have been ‘much lower’ than in the earlier part of the century.

The organisation did not provide any explanation as to what was causing the decline.

Labour’s shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said the findings were ‘shameful’ and pointed to the ‘devastating impact poverty has on ill health’.

Tim Gordon, chair of the mortality projections committee at the CMI, said: ‘It’s now widely accepted that mortality improvements in the general population since 2011 have been much lower than in the earlier part of this century.

‘Average mortality improvements between 2000 and 2011 were typically over 2% per year but have since fallen to around 0.5% per year.

‘The causes of the slowdown, and whether these current low improvements will persist, remain a subject of considerable debate.’

Mr Ashworth said: ‘These are shameful findings. After years of austerity we are seeing stalling life expectancy and widening health inequalities, which require urgent attention. We can’t keep ignoring the devastating impact poverty has on ill health.

‘Tackling these health disparities will be my priority mission ensuring that every child matters again with a relentless focus on improving the health and wellbeing of children.’

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Readers' comments (6)

  • National Hopeless Service

    A further reason to look into the function of screening and the use of statins. We are genetically programmed to die of something

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  • Life expectancy is a prediction, but it's hard to keep that in mind when it's being treated as actual fact or data.

    To know whether this change is meaningful or not one would have to know a lot more about how the prediction is made.

    Maybe the statisticians have just altered some assumptions.

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  • no surprise. I suspect that once the boomer generation is gone the stats will look much worse. Working longer to pension age etc.

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  • Is this an admission more statins and tighter BP targets are not working?????

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  • Bob Hodges

    This time the conservatives have managed to reduce life expectancy by more than the increase in routine secondary care waiting times.

    That's impressive.

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  • Statisticians change methodology and get different result shock.

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