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Life expectancy increasing in Enfield

Published Wednesday, 05 November 2014

People from Enfield are living for longer than ever before and the gaps in life expectancy between wards in the borough are shrinking new data shows.

Enfield Council has published the Director of Public Health’s Annual Report for 2014 which shows the average life expectancy in Enfield is 80.5 years for men and 84 years for women, an increase from 79 years for men and 83 years for women. Life expectancies in Enfield are also higher than for England and London as a whole.
People are also enjoying a similar number of years in good health as London and England, with a man living in Enfield expected to be in good health for 62.8 years and a woman expected to enjoy 63.2 years of good health.  Healthy life expectancy refers to the average number of years a person would live in very good or good health.
Cllr Rohini Simbodyal, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport, Youth and Public Health said “Enfield Council and the NHS are doing an incredible amount of work to improve the quality and access to health services in Enfield so that health conditions are diagnosed early and treated quickly and effectively.
“Our hard work is paying off because people in Enfield are living longer, healthier lives than ever before but we mustn’t be complacent because there is plenty of room for improvement and plenty of scope to continue to revolutionise the way public health is delivered in this borough.
“All the evidence shows that the main reason for poor health in Enfield is poverty and inequality. We know poverty costs lives, and it also has a massive impact on the quality of a person’s life as well as its length, that is why we are focusing our efforts on lifting people out of poverty as a way to tackling the root causes of poor health in Enfield.
“This is shown in stark reality when we look at life expectancy across our most affluent and deprived wards.  Male life expectancy ranged from 75.7 years in Upper Edmonton ward to 84.4 years in Grange ward and female life expectancy was also lowest in Upper Edmonton (78.5 years) and highest in Grange ward (87.1 years), this is a huge difference.”
The report shows that 12.6% of children in reception year were obese in 2012/13; this is a drop from 13.1% to 12.6% in 2011/12 in children in reception year.  This fall has been  driven by significant work carried out by the council to encourage healthy eating in schools, work to promote healthy life styles through the Change 4 Life programme and major investment in the borough’s leisure centres, sporting facilities and parks to encourage people to adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle.
Another area in which Enfield Council, who took over responsibility for public health in 2013, is focusing its efforts is in tackling infant mortality rates, which is dropping but is still higher than the London average at 5.6 per 1000 live births, a range of projects have been launched by the council to address the issue including initiatives to encourage breastfeeding and help pregnant women stop smoking.
Initiatives also include targeting mums-to-be from hard to reach groups who are not registered with a GP to encourage them to register with their doctor or maternity service while they are in the early stages of pregnancy, so that potential risks or health problems with their baby can be identified early and addressed.
The report highlighted circulatory diseases such as stroke, heart failure and coronary heart disease, cancer and respiratory disease as the borough’s biggest killers and the biggest contributors to the gap in life expectancy in Enfield.
To tackle the number of deaths caused by these conditions, the Council and its partners in the NHS have been working to encourage residents to live healthier lifestyles – becoming more active, stopping smoking, drinking less alcohol and improving nutrition and diet, identifying cancer early and diagnosing underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes so they can be treated promptly.   
It is estimated the number of people with undiagnosed health conditions in Enfield is around 51,000 with the breakdown being people having, but not knowing they have, high blood pressure (hypertension) 26,331, diabetes approximately 2,500, Coronary Heart Disease 4,081, Chronic Kidney Disease 10,246, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 6,497, Stroke or Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA or “mini-stroke”) 1,406. 
Efforts to deliver high quality primary care and improve diagnosis include GPs making more doctors’ appointments available across the borough with 50,000 additional appointments provided in 2013/14. Free health kiosks for patients have also been installed in most GP surgeries which enable users to measure their height and weight, blood pressure, Body Mass Index and pulse to give an idea of their general health. The Council and NHS have also laid on a number of drop in health checks around the borough so residents can access health professionals at a time and place that is convenient to them
Smoking is the root cause of one in five deaths in the borough, and Enfield Council has also run a host of projects to persuade people to kick the habit and improve their overall health. Enfield Stop Smoking Service provides free and confidential help to anyone who wants to give up smoking in the borough including one to one support, gum and patches or any other help needed to help you quit.
Smoking clinics and one-to-one services are held throughout the borough and there has been strong support from Enfield for Stoptober, the annual health drive which saw thousands of sign up to get help and support to kick the habit. Enfield’s free Stop Smoking Service has helped over 10,000 people to give up smoking.
Cllr Simbodyal continued: “As well as the projects we have introduced to tackle specific and general health issues, Enfield Council is committed to address poverty in Enfield, these projects start with education and we are providing more high quality school places than ever so that our young people get a great start in life.
“Lifestyle though is something we need to concentrate on improving, some 70% of the NHS budget is taken up by conditions that are often either avoidable or helped by exercising more, eating more healthily, not drinking excessive alcohol and not smoking.  These are things that we will continue to work on as small improvements can not only improve the quality of people’s lives but also save money.”
The Public Health Report can be found here: Link



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