On the agenda - Study links health to deprivation

In a nutshell Richer people in England are living for longer and spend less time in ill-health, according to the Fair Society, Healthy Lives report. Commissioned by the Government, it found that people in the most deprived neighbourhoods die on average seven years younger than those in affluent areas.

Poverty: links to healthcare
Poverty: links to healthcare

- What else does the report say?

The report, compiled by UCL, found that people living in poorer areas not only die sooner, but spend more of their shorter lives with disability - an average total difference of 17 years. The review predicts an increase in the cost of treating the various illnesses that result from inequalities in obesity alone, from £2bn a year to nearly £5bn a year by 2025.

- What can be done?

The report suggests reducing health inequalities will require action on six policy objectives, including giving every child the best start in life, creating fair employment and good work for all, and ensuring a healthy standard of living for all. The report also calls for NHS spending on preventing illness to be much higher than the current four per cent.

- PR strategy

The PR has been handled by Blue Cat Communications, headed by founder Felicity Porritt. A press conference was held last Tuesday at the Science Media Centre. Weekly titles were given embargoed copies of the press release.

- Press coverage

The story appeared on the Today programme, GMTV, BBC News and 5Live Breakfast. Print coverage included a double-page spread in The Guardian, a whole page in The Independent and articles in the Daily Mail and The Times.

- 202k early deaths could be avoided, report claims

- £33bn of lost productivity annually is due to illness inequality.

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