The Health Foundation has responded to a Lancet study showing that rates of premature mortality are two times higher in the most deprived areas of England compared to the most affluent.
Tim Elwell-Sutton, Assistant Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Health Foundation, commented:
‘It’s alarming to see that premature deaths are so much higher for people living in the most deprived areas of England, and that people in these areas have more multiple health conditions and spend longer in ill health.
‘Factors such as diet, smoking, drug and alcohol use have a lasting impact on health but are only one part of the picture. The government must recognise that people’s health is the result of a wide range of social determinants including their quality of housing and education, where they live, access to good quality work and affordable food.
‘To ensure that everyone has the best opportunity to live a healthy life, urgent cross-government action is needed along with investment in public services such as housing, education and children’s services that impact on people’s health. More focus is also needed on designing services to care for people with multiple conditions, particularly in areas where deprivation is highest and the need is greatest.’
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