'More young adults are dying before their time in the north of England than the south –
and the gap is widening, a study has revealed.
Researchers say that since 1965, about 1.2 million more people have died before the age of 75 in the north of England than in the south, taking into account differences in population.
And the team warns that the gap in premature deaths is growing larger – revealing a particularly “alarming growth” among younger adults and those nearing middle-age.
“Between the ages of 25 and 44 there have been rising inequalities,” said Iain Buchan, professor in public health informatics at the University of Manchester and a co-author of the study.
While it is not clear what is behind the trend, Buchan said the findings highlight the need for policies to increase investment in the north of England
“There is higher attainable health in the north, as shown by the higher attained health in the south – therefore invest in the north,” he said.
Richard Wilkinson, co-founder of the Equality Trust and emeritus professor of social epidemiology at the University of Nottingham, said he was not surprised by the results, pointing out that inequalities rose during the 1980s, and added that austerity was making the north-south divide worse. “The main cuts are to the cities, the labour areas, which need [money] most,” he said.'