Since 2011, life expectancy in the US has been worse than most other high-income countries. The worst 10 for men (blue) and women (pink) are shown here

Life expectancy in England and Wales is improving more slowly than in 20 other rich countries & # 39; due to cuts in NHS and social care & # 39;

  • Research has shown that life expectancy in England and Wales has virtually stalled since 2011
  • Improved by less than five weeks for women and less than five months for men
  • Only Iceland had a smaller improvement for men and women from 22 countries

Improvements in life expectancy in England and Wales are among the worst of all rich countries, research shows.

Experts believe that cuts in NHS and social care can fuel the trend, as well as an increase in deaths from alcohol and drugs.

Between 2011 and 2016, life expectancy in England and Wales improved by less than five weeks for women and less than five months for men.

It means that the average boy lives until the age of 79, while girls tend to live until they are around 83.


Only two countries had a smaller improvement for men, Iceland and the US – who have seen a peak in deaths amid an opioid epidemic. Iceland was the only nation with a worse improvement for women.

Since 2011, life expectancy in England and Wales has been worse than most other high-income countries. The worst 10 for men (blue) and women (pink) are shown here

The results reveal that the current slowdown in England and Wales is the worst in 45 years.

The findings were revealed in the first international study to compare life expectancy and death rates from 1970 to 2016 in 22 rich countries.

These also include Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan and countries in Western Europe such as France, Italy and Switzerland.

The researchers believe that the delayed life expectancy in England and Wales is partly due to the financial crash of 2008.


They also point to cuts in health financing and a flu epidemic that cost the lives of nearly 44,000 additional people in 2014 and 2015.

NHS waiting lists are at a record level

A damning report has shown that more than 4.41 million patients were on the waiting list in August – 250,000 more than last year.

And 662,053 people have waited more than 18 weeks for routine treatments, such as joint replacements – the highest since records began.

Health leaders condemned the numbers and said they show that the NHS could endure the worst winter ever with Brexit, harsh weather and flu on the horizon.

NHS bosses said trusts across the country were "incredibly hard". work to prepare for the winter and ensure that patients are kept safe.


But the Royal College of Nursing fears that more and more patients will be treated in corridors as the pressure on health care increases.

And the Royal College of Surgeons warned the coming winter pressure, Brexit and the NHS pension crisis will cause a "perfect storm" for hospitals this winter.

Experts called for & # 39; fast and far-reaching & # 39; government action to set up the NHS for the winter.

The waiting times refer to patients who wait for routine but important operations such as joint replacements.

The ones included in the 4.41 million are those who have been referred for surgery by a specialist, but who have not yet had the procedure.


That figure has risen by 250,000 compared to the same time last year and 1.1 million from August 2017.

But the team, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the Max Planck Institute in Germany, rejected the claim that the delay is only because more elderly people are dying.

Their analysis showed that the mortality rate had increased in every age group except for young boys.

The risk of death among men aged 25 to 50 is now 20 to 40 percent higher than the average in the 22 other countries.

The study, published in the journal Lancet Public Health, says that life expectancy may have been influenced by an increase in deaths from injuries, poisoning and violence.


Although the life expectancy of men has largely increased in line with other countries, women lag behind in 20th place out of 22 in 2016.

This is probably because British women started smoking earlier in the 20th century than those in other countries, and became heavier smokers.

Life expectancy may also have been influenced by the North to South gap in England, meaning that younger adults further down the country are more likely to die from alcohol and drug abuse.

The study concludes that the increase in deaths among working-age people, which began in the mid-2000s, & # 39; urgent attention & # 39; needs.

Principal author David Leon of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said: & # 39; The failure of England and Wales to track improvements seen in other high-income countries is likely to reflect a number of factors.

& # 39; We did not look into this in the study, but they may include reduced funding for the NHS and social benefits and subordination.

& # 39; Stopped life expectancy may be related to an increase in the death rate among young people due to drug and alcohol abuse and violence. & # 39;

He added: & # 39; These trends represent a real reversal in the situation in England and Wales in the 1970s and 1980s, when this working age group had a lower mortality rate than elsewhere, almost certainly partly because in this period in the UK as a whole, in particular low mortality due to external causes such as injuries, poisoning and violence.

& # 39; Further work is urgently needed to understand the reasons for this turnaround since 2000, and to what extent it may be due to adverse trends in injury, violence, and alcohol or drug-related deaths. & # 39;

Professor Leon added: & # 39; Today the world faces major challenges, from climate change to the disruption of long-standing aspects of international cooperation and cooperation, many of which can have a negative impact on future health progress. & # 39;


  1. Norway 1.62
  2. Japan 1.56
  3. Luxembourg 1.41
  4. Ireland 1.30
  5. Denmark 1.25
  6. Switzerland 1.25
  7. Finland 1.23
  8. New Zealand 1.20
  9. Austria 1.07
  10. Spain 1.01
  11. Italy 1.01
  12. Belgium 1.00
  13. France 0.89
  14. Australia 0.83
  15. Portugal 0.81
  16. Sweden 0.78
  17. The Netherlands 0.68
  18. Germany W 0.62
  19. Canada 0.45
  20. Scotland 0.42
  21. England and Wales 0.37
  22. US -0.05
  23. Iceland -0.17


  1. Luxembourg 1.57
  2. Japan 1.28
  3. New Zealand 1.17
  4. Denmark 0.96
  5. Belgium 0.79
  6. Norway 0.72
  7. Spain 0.70
  8. Ireland 0.70
  9. Australia 0.61
  10. Italy 0.60
  11. Finland 0.56
  12. Switzerland 0.54
  13. Portugal 0.54
  14. Austria 0.49
  15. Sweden 0.42
  16. Germany W 0.40
  17. France 0.30
  18. The Netherlands 0.26
  19. Scotland 0.24
  20. US 0.18
  21. Canada 0.16
  22. England and Wales 0.11
  23. Iceland 0.01

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