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Pattaya Daily News

03 July 2010 :: 13:07:53 pm 28503

Rich-Poor Life Expectancy Gap Widening

A National Audit Office (NAO) report has said the life expectancy of the rich and the poor in England is getting wider despite any efforts to close it. The general life expectancy for women stands at 82 years and for men, it is 77.9, while in the poorer areas it has fallen to 80.4 and 75.8 years. The life expectancy gap has widened by 14% for women and 7% for men.
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They are now asking that the government to this tackle this problem by investing more money into the health system, allowing GPs to sort out the problem of bad diets and smoking in the poor communities. Reports say that as primary care trusts are not allocated specific funding, it makes it difficult to show how much money has been spent on tackling this problem, but at present the system does not provide enough incentive to encourage doctors to focus on the neediest.

Approximately £24 million a year is needed to take action which would improve health in the deprived areas. This would include increasing the prescribing cholesterol and blood pressure reducing drugs and doubling the service that helps people in the quest to stop smoking.

It is easy for those on a comfortable income to choose better lifestyles and eat healthily.  Those on a much lower income have to economize and eat what is affordable to them.  Healthy food requires healthy money which can be seriously difficult if on a low wage. So working extra hours to make ends meet surely tires out your body quicker, hence rising stress levels and heavier smoking to combat the stress, can and will contribute to the shorter life span.

The US has found it is ranked 42nd in the global life expectancy and 34th in survival of infants, with suicides and murder being the top 15 causes of death. Although the US is one on the richest nations in the world, it is seriously behind in providing opportunity and choices to their people. The US is ranked 12th place in a league table of wealthy nations where Britain is 16th.

The very nature of peoples’ job and not just their lifestyles can have an impact on their longevity. Monotonous jobs and little control on what and how they are able to do it can be far more stressful than the high powered jobs where people are more flexible and have more freedom.

Basically, the rich are getting richer, living longer and have a more relaxing lifestyle with holidays and leisure activities, whereas the poor are getting poorer, causing stress and health problems through having to work extra hours in order to make ends meet with little or no holidays and leisure time.

Approximately 28 per cent of children from developing countries are underweight, with around 24,000 dying each day in the poorest villages. Many people are struggling to survive on less than $1 a day.

Sarah Goldman

Photo : Internet   Category : Society

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