British Children Most Likely To Die Before The Age Of Five

14/08/2014 16:55 | Updated 22 May 2015

Little boy holding parents hands

More young children are dying in Britain than in any other western European country.

According to the World Health Organization, a child born in Britain is now more likely to be dead by the age of five than one born in the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Estonia, as well as all of western Europe.

While infant mortality rates have been falling across most of the western world, the opposite is the case in Britain.

The shocking new figures reveal that the rate in the UK has risen from 5.3 deaths per 1,000 births before the age of five in 2010, to 5.4 per 1,000 this year.

Only Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Latvia, Bulgaria and Romania have higher infant mortality rates.

The report also confirmed Britons as the fattest in Europe while women are also more likely to die younger than in most other European countries.

Female life expectancy is 83 in Britain, behind Spain (85), France (85), Italy (85), Cyprus (84) and Germany (84).

The report's chairman, Sir Michael Marmot, said: "We are failing too many of our children, women and young people on a grand scale."

Public health minister Jane Ellison said: "We take this issue very seriously which is why we created the first specific legal duties on health inequalities for NHS England, clinical commissioning groups and the secretary of state."

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