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Women’s life expectancy declining

(35 Posts)
Peapod29 Wed 26-Feb-20 06:59:42

Did anyone listen to the world at one yesterday on radio 4? They had a great piece about how the poorest women’s life expectancies are in decline, and they think the reason (the experts they interviewed were certain) that the public service cuts and benefits cuts fall disproportionately on women (we knew this already). This is strong evidence that this is actually killing women. They also had a doctor describing how the cuts in her area had affected her patients in the post natal period (lack of breastfeeding support, no sure start centres) and how all these things lead to higher costs in the long run for the nhs/local councils. Well done WATO for highlighting this issue as I’ve not seen it reported much in the other MSM.

OP’s posts: |
Peapod29 Wed 26-Feb-20 07:00:39

Link to programme

OP’s posts: |
midgebabe Wed 26-Feb-20 07:50:13

Didnt hear / read about this..saw the headline and thought yeah, well what did anyone expect.

It seems to be what people actually want. I sometimes feel angry, but lately I just feel like if that's people are happy to accept rather than raised taxes , a society focussed on people not economics and a more even spread of wealth, then I might as well just look after myself

Bit down about it all really

bingbangbing Wed 26-Feb-20 09:16:43

This has been know for a couple of years

The public voted for more of the same at the last election so there is sod all we can do about it

nettie434 Wed 26-Feb-20 09:47:39

I am glad you posted about this peapod29. Until now, we have seen bigger increases in life expectancy among women so this finding should make politicians and policymakers pay attention. I wonder if it is partly because more of the burden of poverty falls on women - eg working two jobs and still struggling to get enough food on the table. I noted that the report also highlights increased rates of depression, alcohol and drug use among women. It’s really grim reading.

LouHotel Wed 26-Feb-20 09:59:30

I also wondered if the increase in retirement age will start to take mum is 63 and still working full-time, she now stays in bed all day saturday. She's had four children.

daisypond Wed 26-Feb-20 10:05:22

Well, yes, it’s to be expected. I won’t retire until 67. My sister in law is retiring at 65. I don’t know any that are lucky enough to work part time. Everyone works full time - until they get ill and lose their jobs. Then they are unemployed. Women live longer than men, earn less, and many will be in poverty in later years. Most women I know are single and don’t have partners and/or children to help.

Babdoc Wed 26-Feb-20 10:23:14

It’s rather simplistic to try and blame cuts in benefits for this. A lot of it is down to obesity and diabetes. The poor tend to eat more high calorie junk food, and are resistant to health messages to cut smoking and drinking.
Staying in work until older can actually benefit health, as it provides social contact and a sense of purpose. Many people take up new jobs shortly after retirement, citing boredom or loneliness - B and Q actively recruit pensioners.
I think life expectancy has already peaked. We will see a decline across the board, as the currently obese and wine swigging middle aged generation become elderly with prematurely furred up arteries, alcoholic liver damage (we’re already seeing cirrhosis in 30 year olds) and the increased cancer risk that obesity brings.

ArranUpsideDown Wed 26-Feb-20 10:35:05

It's not a decline in life expectancy, it's a slowing down of the rate of increase in life expectancy.

Like Babdoc, I think that for those who have adequate health, remaining in work might carry benefits with it. tbh, I'm somebody who'd like to think that society would support me working part-time if I were to develop a long-term condition that needed a lot of self-management. (I also think this should be available to carers but that's a different point.)

However, there is clearly something amiss in the the health of some demographics. And we have a long way to go in reaching people who are largely disengaged from healthcare.

(I can't listen to a programme - deafness.)

PigletJohn Wed 26-Feb-20 10:35:32

We wanted a government that would cut public services and neglect healthcare, so we voted conservative.

midgebabe Wed 26-Feb-20 10:37:06

Well there is a strong correlation between poverty and ill health and poor diet,
So it's not surprising if there are more people struggling you will have more people eating a poor diet and more people then dying as a result

Either poverty leads to poor diet, poverty is caused by poor diet or the two are just coincidentally related

At the poorest levels a junk diet is cheap and cheering. 1 apple or a packet of biscuits?

cloudydaysinfebruary Wed 26-Feb-20 10:46:33

We wanted a government that would cut public services and neglect healthcare, so we voted conservative.

It's important to remember that actually more of the electorate voted NOT Conservative than voted Conservative at the 2019 election:

Conservative- 43.63%
Labour - 32.08
Liberal Democrat- 11.55
SNP 3.88
Green 2.7
Brexit 2.01

It's FPTP that creates the Conservative majority, not the wishes of the electorate.

deydododatdodontdeydo Wed 26-Feb-20 10:49:42

I think women have adopted some of the, previously male, unhealthy practices too - smoking, drinking and over-eating. Probably from the 1960s onwards.

Baaaahhhhh Wed 26-Feb-20 11:00:45

I have issues with a lot of this report - sorry but I do.

The people being recorded now, who are dying slightly earlier, hence the reduction in life expectancy, would have been born in the 50's and 60's.

Healthcare is the best it has ever been. Just compare the drugs and surgery which is available now compared to 30 years ago.

I accept there could be an element of lack of social care in later life, but I suspect as much of the decline could also be due to poor social choices, poor diet, obesity, drinking and smoking. Smoking has to be a big factor, as most people in the 50's/60's smoked.

I would very much like more detail into the causes of the deaths to which the reduced life expectancy is linked to.

At the end of the day, and along with all other Western countries, life expectancy will eventually stall, as we can't live forever. I accept that the main issue is with the health divide, but to just blame it on the last
ten years is lazy. Many health outcomes are dictated by your early years, so perhaps we should be looking back at what happened in the 50's.

ArranUpsideDown Wed 26-Feb-20 11:22:18

For anyone who wants to read the executive summary or full report, they're available free of charge to download:

ArranUpsideDown Wed 26-Feb-20 11:33:05

Public Health England 's A review of recent trends in mortality in England is a free to download report that discusses the complex factors behind the slowdown of increased lifespan:

Strangerthantruth Wed 26-Feb-20 11:35:37

I wonder if the improved use of DNR has been factored in. Certainly in my family this made a difference, with one person being kept alive in hospital against their wishes for 6 months in the early 2000s versus another having a sensitive consultation on DNR which led them to leave hospital to go home and die 24 hours later as they wanted in the mid 2010s

Frothybothie Wed 26-Feb-20 11:38:17

If you factor out deaths due to drug abuse, alcohol abuse and suicide I wonder what it woudl come out at?

Baaaahhhhh Wed 26-Feb-20 11:40:06

Strangerthantruth It will be interesting to see how this pans out going forward. Reading other MN threads on elderly care, and elderly parents, 99% of posters do not want to live their last ten years in the same condition as their current parents. I think as a society we will move more towards living shorter but healthier lives. Of course this does still reference improving lives in the above report, but continuing to increase life expectancy without good health is not universally welcomed.

Baaaahhhhh Wed 26-Feb-20 11:46:50

Lots and lots of report on here if anyone has a few hours spare!

DH marginally involved in creating the strategy, he's obviously very invested in a good outcome from their recommendations.

This was Matt Hancocks response to the report:

feelingverylazytoday Wed 26-Feb-20 11:57:02

Babdoc is correct.
I'm afraid a lot of people in Britain don't want to take responsibility for their own health and well being, and this is the result.
1 apple or a packet of biscuits? Well I'm pretty poor (full time carer for a family member) and would choose fruit over biscuits 99 times out of 100. But I care about my health, no matter which party is in power.

PigletJohn Wed 26-Feb-20 12:11:51


"Healthcare is the best it has ever been. Just compare the drugs and surgery which is available now compared to 30 years ago."

I'm delighted to hear you live in a district with good healthcare.

Where you live, can you get a GP appointmernt is less than a week?

Have you ever had an elderly or frail relation with, say, a stroke, heart attack, or broken hip? How long did they last?

ArranUpsideDown Wed 26-Feb-20 12:15:44

continuing to increase life expectancy without good health is not universally welcomed.

Yet it's what a number of organisations and patients are lobbying for - several patient surveys and audits for charities and patient organisations report that patients want early access to (sometimes unproven) therapies if it will extend life. They also claim that they're willing to tolerate any side-effects for that extension. And those responding to these surveys/audits are people who may have already been through a lot of surgery and chemotherapy etc. so they know how disruptive those side-effects can be and how much they diminish health related quality of life.

Some of the reports show negligible drop-off in these attitudes across the age spectrum so it's not as if people older than 70 or 75 take quality of life into account more than other age groups.

Strangerthantruth Wed 26-Feb-20 12:29:51

So reading the report it seems that alzheimers and dementia has put a ceiling on women's increased life expectancy.

Not quite as emotive as austerity kills. Well the data shows its dementia and alzheimers doing the killing.

Summerhillsquare Wed 26-Feb-20 12:34:55

Its a scandal. Austerity stores up so many problems for the future. And women bear the brunt as usual.

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