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Study finds life expectancy gap

People in parts of Cumbria can expect to die more than 20 years sooner than people in the county's most affluent areas, new research shows.

Residents in one of Workington's most disadvantaged communities have a significant gap in life expectancy compared to Greystoke, in Eden.

People in Greystoke live on average until the age of 93, compared with 72 in Workington's Moss Bay ward.

Professor John Ashton, Cumbria Primary Care Trust's director of public health, said: "At the moment the elderly population is growing rapidly.

"But there is now evidence that younger people are not going to live as long as their grandparents because they are getting fatter and becoming unhealthier.

"It seems that we have had this golden generation but our culture has changed to become much more home-based and sedentary."

Prof Ashton added that health experts must work to lower blood pressure and cholesterol in patients and reduce the risk of heart disease, which is the county's biggest killer.

"We need to focus health service resources to make sure they are reaching these people who, from a social justice point of view, should be a priority," he said.

"There are things we can do, even if their health is already damaged, to give them at least a few more years."

Cumbria Primary Care Trust

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