THE LIFE expectancy of a child born in the Bradford district today has been revealed.

A child who is female at birth is expected to live an average of 81 years, the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed.

Meanwhile a male child is expected to live until he is 76 years old on average.

Life expectancy has gradually dropped since a decade ago with the pandemic exacerbating the trend further.

Between 2010 and 2012 in Bradford, the life expectancy of a male was 77 and 81 for a female.

Behind the figures are lingering problems from the Covid-19 pandemic, poverty, stress, and lifestyle issues.

People living in poorer areas are also more likely to suffer from health issues including diabetes, heart conditions and mental health issues.

At the time of these figures, a £4.7m research centre dedicated to solving health inequalities was launched.

Funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, The National Institute for Health and Care Research will dive deeper into the causes of poor health.

Living near busy streets and fast-food outlets as well as a lack of green space are all contributing factors.

It came after one health expert claimed life expectancy drops by two years for every mile between Bingley and inner-city Bradford.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A view over Shipley with the mills of Manningham in the background

Analysis by the ONS said most local areas have also seen a fall in estimated life expectancy at birth.

But the date for 2020-2022 also represented a “clear geographical divide”.

Julie Stanborough, ONS deputy director of health and life events, said: “Although life expectancy has fallen across all regions and constituent countries, there is a clear geographical divide when it comes to areas with the best and worst outcomes.

“None of the 10 local areas with the highest life expectancy were located in the north of England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

“By contrast, of the 10 local areas with the lowest life expectancy, none were in the south of England.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Compared to Bradford, the life expectancy of a child born in Harrogate is three years higher for females and four years higher for males.

Areas in Calderdale, Leeds and Kirklees have better life expectancy rates while Wakefield is at a similar level to Bradford. 

'There are broader lifestyle issues'

Councillor Sue Duffy, portfolio holder for children and families at Bradford Council, spoke about efforts to improve people’s health across Bradford district.

One health expert claims life expectancy drops by two years for every mile between Bingley and inner-city Bradford.

Cllr Duffy said: “Life expectancy in Bradford and in England increased steadily between the early 2000s and 2019 but decreased since 2019 largely driven by the Covid-19 pandemic, which began in March 2020.

"We are aware that there are broader lifestyle issues that we need to support people with so they can make informed choices to improve and maintain their health and wellbeing – with a continued focus on promoting our Living Well system-wide approach. 

“To address health risks our Community Partnerships (CPs) have brought together NHS, local government, and voluntary community and social enterprise sector to reduce high rates of early deaths to diagnose conditions like heart disease, diabetes and cancer in good time, so that people can access treatment before they become seriously ill.

"We are also encouraging flu, Covid and childhood vaccinations for people who may become very unwell. NHS teams are working closely with other organisations to make improvements in the building blocks of health, which are key to increasing life expectancy: access to good housing, employment, income, education, clean air, leisure and friendship.

“There are also continuing health impacts from stress, isolation and financial hardship which cause most harm in the district’s poorest areas. In response to what people have told us and to also address inequalities that can affect people’s mental health and the way they access support we have recently launched our new Healthy Minds strategy which aims to promote better lives, respect rights and improve support.”