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UK population enjoys a healthier older age

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 03 September 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5898
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

More people in the UK are staying healthy into later life, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), but disparities between countries are concerning public health specialists.

Between the periods 2005-07 and 2008-10 there were “significant increases” of between 2.1 and 3.5 years in healthy life expectancy for males and females at birth in the UK as a whole. The proportion of life spent in very good or good general health is increasing in England and Wales but, on the whole, falling in Scotland and Northern Ireland, says the ONS.

Ed Jessop, vice president of the Faculty of Public Health, called for action to tackle the root causes of health inequalities, saying, “The gap between the …

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