Life expectancy and mortality

Life expectancy and mortality

Introduction

Life expectancy at birth is a summary measure that is an indicator of the overall health of a population. This describes in a single measure how long a child born today could expect to live if current death rates for each age remain unchanged for their lifetime.
  

Life expectancy represents the range of influences across the life course of residents in an area; hence this has been included as an overarching indicator in the Public Health Outcomes Framework. Influencing life expectancy and all-cause mortality requires actions across the range of influences on health. This includes the factors that are influenced by health services and the factors that influence wellbeing such as housing, education, physical activity, and nutrition.

 

There are four measures for life expectancy, these are; 

  • Healthy life expectancy
  • Life expectancy at birth
  • Life expectancy at 65
  • Gap in life expectancy at birth

 

Healthy life expectancy at birth is the average number of years a newborn baby would expect to live in good health if they experienced the age-specific mortality rates and prevalence of good health for a particular area and time period throughout their life based on contemporary mortality rates and prevalence of self-reported good health. 


Life expectancy at birth is the average number of years a newborn baby would survive if they experienced the age-specific mortality rates for a particular area and time period throughout their life. Figures reflect mortality among those living in an area in a time period, rather than what will be experienced throughout life among those born in the area could expect to live, because the mortality rates of the area are likely to change in the future and many of those born in the area will live elsewhere for at least some part of their lives.  


Life expectancy at 65 is an estimate of the average number of years at age 65 a person would survive if he or she experienced the age-specific mortality rates for a particular area and time period throughout his or her life after that age. Figures reflect mortality among those living in an area in each time period, rather than what will be experienced throughout life among those born in the area because the mortality rates of the area are likely to change in the future and because many of those born in the area will live elsewhere for at least some part of their lives.  


Gap in life expectancy at birth between the local authority and England as a whole measures inequalities in life expectancy between each English local authority area and that of England as a whole and shows the gap in years between overall life expectancy at birth in each local authority and life expectancy at birth for England as a whole for a given time period. A negative figure means that the life expectancy of the area is lower than England, and a positive figure shows that the area has a higher life expectancy than England.
 

Table 1 compares the Healthy life expectancy at birth, life expectancy at birth and life expectancy at age 65 between Wokingham Borough and the national average for England. The table clearly shows that Wokingham is higher on every indicator for both Males and Females when compared to England. This also highlights the gap in life expectancy between males and females.  


Life expectancy

The graph below (figure 1) shows that the healthy life expectancy for males is higher in Wokingham when compared with England from 2009 - 2013, it also shows that Wokingham has seen an increase in healthy life expectancy for males between 2010-12 and 2011-13.


Healthy life expectancy

Figure 2 and 3 show the gap in life expectancy at birth between Wokingham and England as a whole. Both figures show that Wokingham has a higher life expectancy than England. Figure 2 shows that there has been a decline in this gap between 2007-09 and 2011-2013, this shows that Wokingham’s life expectancy for males is drawing closer to the England average. This should be studied in conjunction with figure 4.  Figure 4 shows the life expectancy at birth for males and shows that both Wokingham and England are increasing. This shows that the reason for the decline in the gap in life expectancy in figure 3 is not due to Wokingham’s life expectancy for males decreasing.  


Gap in life expectancy
Gap in life expectancy between authority
Gap in life expectancy between Wokingham and England
Life expectancy charts

Figure 5: charts of Life expectancy at birth for males and females at Ward level

 

There are differences between female and male life expectancies, with females experiencing higher life expectancies than males on all measures.

 

Wokingham Borough also experiences differences in life expectancies at a ward level.  Life expectancy at birth for males  is 78.4 in Arborfield  comparing with 86.5 in Shinfield South, ( figure 5) . This gap maybe resulted of the socio economic deprivation on wards level

    

No one should be born with a lower life expectancy than anyone else because of where they live, and so work must continue reduce and remove that the differences in life expectancy across the wards within Wokingham Borough.  Much work is already ongoing in this area as life expectancy is affected by all aspects of health and lifestyles, so this must remain a priority and be focused in the wards experiencing the lowest levels of life expectancy.

    

Public Health England; Public Health Outcomes Framework data tool (updated November 2014)

PHE Segment Tool 2015 - Segmenting life expectancy gaps by cause of death

Office for National Statistics (ONS)  2015