‘A woman living in Adel is likely to live 14 years longer than a woman living in Burmantofts’

A woman living in Adel is likely to live 14 years longer than a woman four miles away in Burmantofts, according to shocking claims from Leeds City Council officers.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 4:45 pm
Burmantofts pictured at night. Photo: richard - stock.adobe.com

The comments were made during a Leeds City Council health and wellbeing board meeting this week, which also heard that health inequalities in the two areas of the city have led to an equivalent gap of 11 and a half years in men.

A senior health expert also claimed that health inequalities between rich and poor were narrowing when it comes to heart and liver diseases, but poorer people were suffering even more disproportionately from mental health problems, cancer and respiratory diseases.

The comments came during a discussion on how health and care organisations are working to tackle health inequalities in the city.

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Presenting a report, a Leeds City Council officer said: “Child poverty rates in the city are significantly higher than the national average at 24 per cent rather than 19 per cent.

“Breaking the link that sees poverty driving health inequalities is a priority. We have a life expectancy gap in the city which shows really significant gaps across the city.

“If you’re male in Leeds, the difference in life expectancy across the city is 11 years and 14 years for females. Those two apply to Adel and Wharfedale; and Burmantofts and Richmond Hill – as the crow flies, that is just four miles, which is shocking."

The meeting also heard that, as the population continues to age, more people are expected to have long term health problems in the future, as well as an older workforce.

The officer added: “We also expect to see increasing numbers of older people in the workplace. We expect people to have multiple careers moving forward and we are wanting to create a green economy.

“We need to support the growing number of unpaid carers – more than half of those over 50 are mixing work with caring commitments.”

Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust looks after both LGI and St James’s Hospitals. Its chief executive, Julian Hartley, said: “We appear to have made progress in reducing the deprivation gap in circulatory disease, and also looking at smoking and liver disease.

“However, on cancer, respiratory, alcohol and mental health, we have challenges and the deprivation gap seems to be widening.”

Leeds City Council executive board member Coun Salma Arif (Lab) said: “In Harehills Lane, you have a number of fast food outlets, which is easily accessible. Is there a way to tackle the increasing number of fast food outlets if we are talking about healthy living?

“We introduced a cumulative impact policy, which reduced the numbers of off licences, so the way forward is with policy.”

A report, which went before members, said: “Health inequalities were already worsening, with the gap in life expectancy increasing between communities locally and nationally before Coronavirus.

“However, the direct and non-direct impacts of Covid-19 have not impacted equally on communities and led to an exacerbation of health inequalities, with wide ranging impacts on both mental and physical health.”