Health 2 - UK State of HealTh

(February 2021)

Life expectancy at birth in the United Kingdom increased by 3 years between 2000 and 2015 to 81 years and is higher than the EU average. The gap in life expectancy at birth between men and women is relatively small (79.2 and 82.8 years), and has closed by 1.2 years since 2000

The majority of all deaths are caused by Cancer and cardiovascular diseases

In the United Kingdom, cancer has overtaken cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death among men (accounting for 31% and 28% of deaths, respectively) and causes almost the same number of deaths as cardiovascular diseases for

women Ischaemic heart disease and back pain account for a large part of the burden of disease Ischaemic heart disease and musculoskeletal problems (including
low back and neck pain) are the two most significant determinants of disability-

 The second most common cause of death is Alzheimer’s and other dementias These are causing increasing concern.

 The third and fourth main causes of death are nervous system diseases

Self-reported data from the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS) indicate that close to one in six people report living with hypertension, one in eleven live with asthma and one in eleven have chronic depression

People with low incomes report being significantly less well than high income populations

There are large inequalities in the prevalence of these chronic diseases by education level. Those with the lowest level of education are nearly 50% more likely to live with asthma, almost twice as likely to have depression, and nearly two and a half times as likely to report having diabetes, as those with the highest level of education. Lower education levels refer to people with less than primary, primary or lower secondary education (while higher education levels refer to people with tertiary education

General Health

The majority of people in the United Kingdom report being relatively well with 70% of the population defining themselves as in good health. However, again the gap in self-rated health by socioeconomic status is considerable. Although more than 80% of the highest income quintile report being in good health, only 60% of the population in the lowest income quintile

 Risk factors
Behavioural risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol consumption are major issues

Almost 28% of the overall burden of disease in 2015 could be attributed to behavioural risk factors. They include smoking, diet, alcohol use and physical inactivity.

The proportion of adults who smoke daily in the United Kingdom has decreased sharply since 2000 (from 27% to 19%) Even steeper declines in regular smoking have been seen for 15-year-old girls (from 27% in 2001–02 to 9% in 2013–14) and boys (from 20% in 2001–02 to 8% in 2013–14),

There has also been some progress in reducing alcohol consumption with adults consuming 9.5 litres per capita in 2015, (a reduction of 0.9 litres a year since 2000), despite which binge drinking remains a major challenge both

The shares for the total population and the low-income population are roughly the same.  The shares for the total population and the high-income population are roughly the same.

Rates of obesity are high and growing,

Self-reported data, which typically underestimate obesity, suggest that one in five (20%) adults in the United Kingdom are obese, putting it in the top quintile of EU countries. Although nearly one in six 15-year-olds were overweight or obese in 2013–14, they do not compare as badly with other European countries as adults of the United Kingdom do.  The United Kingdom has implemented national strategies on nutrition to prevent and treat obesity, and to promote physical activity and other healthy behaviours. Based on measured rates of obesity, one in four adults (25.6%) was obese in 2014.

 The disadvantaged take more behavioural risks although the better educated drink more heavily

Many behavioural risk factors are much more prevalent among populations disadvantaged by income or education. The exception is regular heavy drinking among adults, which is more prevalent among the United Kingdom’s most educated. The prevalence of smoking is almost three times higher among those with the lowest level of education, and they are more likely to be obese. A higher prevalence of risk factors among disadvantaged groups contributes to differences in health status.