Life Expectancy Among Older People Is 'The Highest It's Been', Says Public Health England

People In England Are 'Living Longer Than Ever'

People aged 65 and over are living longer than ever before, new statistics from Public Health England (PHE) have revealed.

After turning 65, men live on average for another 19 years, reaching 84 years old. Meanwhile when women hit 65 they can expect to live for another 21 years, reaching 86 years old.

Despite showing an increase in life expectancy, the report also revealed that many older people are living in "poor health".

PHE has advised middle-aged people to "make changes today" to boost their lifespan. They recommend for people to quit smoking, eat healthily and be more active.

The report is a welcome change after data from 2011 and 2012 showed a drop in life expectancy at some older ages.

Statistics now show that men who turn 75 can expect to live on average for a further 12 years, reaching 87. Meanwhile women live for another 13 years, reaching 88.

Men who turn 85 can expect to live, on average, for a further six years - until they are 91. While women who reach 85 can expect to live a further seven years, until they are 92.

Both sexes who hit 95 can expect to live, on average, for a further three years.

PHE said that there is a "variation in the figures for regions and local authorities".

In all but one region of England, male and female life expectancy at age 65 increased between 2013 and 2014 and is higher in 2014 than in any other year presented. The exception is the North East, where male life expectancy was highest in 2013.

The majority of local authorities showed an increase or no change in life expectancy at age 65, however one quarter showed a decrease.

Professor John Newton, chief knowledge officer at PHE, said: "Overall the report presents a positive picture nationally and life expectancy is the highest it’s been since we started measuring.

"People in England are living longer than ever and that makes achieving a good quality of life in later years even more important.

"Our current evidence shows that people are living longer but many are doing so in poor health.

"This report is an opportunity to remind people that, even during mid-life, it is not too late to improve your health. Most of us could make changes today, like stopping smoking, being more active or eating better, that would allow us to look forward to healthier later years."

He added: "The reasons for the variation in trend between local areas are not yet clear. PHE will continue to monitor these trends and analyse the data for 2015 as soon as possible."

Danny Dorling, professor of human geography at University of Oxford, said: "Although national average life expectancy continues to rise, in many parts of England improvements have stalled in recent years.

"There is an urgent need to determine why this is happening. Beneath the headline figures of this report there is evidence of worsening health for many older people in some parts of the country."

Dominic Harrison, director of public health for Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, added: "With such a high proportion of deaths each year now in those over 80, continuing the improvement of life expectancy at older ages is critical to improving the life expectancy of the nation.

"It is great news that life expectancy is improving in some areas but worrying that life expectancy has decreased in others.

"Deaths in older age groups – who are amongst the most vulnerable in the population – may actually be telling us a lot about the risks being experienced by us all. I welcome this report - we need to look very carefully at what it might be telling us."


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