PEOPLE living in the wealthiest parts of Bradford are likely to stay in good health for over two decades longer than people in the most deprived areas.

The stark impact poverty plays in the lives of Bradford’s residents is revealed in a new report that will be discussed by health bosses tomorrow.

It shows that in the more affluent areas of the Bradford District people such as Ilkley and Wharfedale there is a “healthy life expectancy” - the length of time someone will live in “good health”, of 71.

But in the most deprived areas, such as Tong, Manningham and Keighley Central, that figure plummets to just 50.

The Bradford and Airedale Health and Wellbeing Board will discuss the report - Living well for longer, when it meets in City Hall this afternoon. The report looks at health inequalities in the District, and suggests that the issue goes beyond being just a health matter.

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The report says that while life expectancy in Bradford is rising, the amount of years people spend in good health is actually falling.

In 2015-17 healthy life expectancy at birth in males fell to 60.4 years on average in Bradford. The report says this is the lowest in recent years and remains below the average for England - 63.4.

For females in Bradford, healthy life expectancy at birth fell to 59.0 years on average in 2015-17. As with males, this is the lowest value recorded in recent years, and remains below the average for England (63.8 years).

Live expectancy for men in Bradford is 77.7, while life expectancy for women is 81.6.

Although life expectancy for both genders is rising, it remains lower than the national average - life expectancy for men in Bradford is 1.8 years below the national average while for women it is 1.5 years below.

The report says; “Improving healthy life expectancy is not only important from a social justice and population health perspective, but it is crucial for the sustainability of our health and care system.

“If we continue to support people to live longer, without keeping people well, demand for health care will only increase for all parts of the system (primary care, community care, including the VCS, and emergency and planned hospital care).

“Furthermore, as our population ages with an increasing number of health issues and frailty, demand for care services will also rise.

“Improving healthy life expectancy is also an economic issue. Spend on health and wellbeing is an investment in our communities.”

It points out the staggering gap in healthy life expectancy between different areas of the district, saying: “This inequality in health life expectancy is significantly wider than is observed for differences in life expectancy.

“This means that although across the District people are living longer, primarily due to advances in modern medicine, people living in deprived areas are living 21 more of those years in poorer health that those in less deprived areas.

“Factors such as smoking, poor diet and obesity, low levels of physical activity, and drug and alcohol use are the dominant drivers.

“We often think of these as lifestyle factors, however, the term lifestyle factors is misleading as it encourages a disproportionate focus on individuals and their ability to make different lifestyle choices, rather than on the commercial, environmental and social determinants of health.

“It is these that are the biggest influence on our opportunities to improve the number of years that we live in good health.

“Poverty appears to be one of the most notable factors influencing so many of the drivers of poor healthy life expectancy. Accordingly, a system wide commitment to tacking poverty should be at the heart of our efforts to improve healthy life expectancy for all people in the District, but importantly, to improve it most (and fastest) for those living in the most deprived areas who spend a greater number of years living in poor health.”

The report looks at other health issues, including obesity in young people and teenage pregnancy.

It shows that disappointingly the number of women in Bradford who smoke while pregnant rose last year. in 2017/18 14.4 per cent of pregnant women were classed as smokers at the time of delivery. Smoking while pregnant can lead to health risks in the unborn child.

The Board meets in City Hall at 2pm.