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Equality: Life Expectancy

Volume 715: debated on Thursday 10 December 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 2 December (WA 46) stating that specific groups experience disadvantage based upon their innate characteristics, whether they intend to address the inequality of life expectation between men and women. [HL543]

Tackling health inequalities is a government priority, including the health differences between men and women. The latest data for 2006-08 show a 4.1 years difference between the life expectancy of men and women in England—82 years for women and 77.9 for men—with lower levels of life expectancy in disadvantaged areas.

The Secretary of State for Health has asked Professor Sir Michael Marmot of University College London to review the latest global evidence on health inequalities and identify possible policy options for the future. The review is exploring avoidable health differences in the population through an approach that emphasises the social determinants of health. This includes socio-economic status, gender, ethnicity and disability. Sir Michael is expected to publish his independent report in the new year and his findings will inform the development of a post-2010 cross-government health inequalities strategy.