Life expectancy of poorer Derry women falls as Nesbitt declares inequality a ‘challenge to all’

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Health Minister Mike Nesbitt has said inequality should be a ‘challenge for us all’ after a report showed life expectancy among poorer Derry women has fallen.

The Department of Health’s latest annual report on health inequalities demonstrates that in 2020-22 female life expectancy in Derry and Strabane’s most deprived areas stood at 78 years – which was three-and-a-half years less than the district average of 81.5 years.

The average life span for women from the poorest areas of Derry and Strabane has fallen slightly from 78.1 years over the 2019-2021 period.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The deprivation gap has increased as the average life expectancy for women generally in Derry and Strabane has improved from 81.1 years to 81.5 years, according to the new report.

Health Minister Mike Nesbitt has said inequality should be a ‘challenge for us all’ after a report showed life expectancy among poorer Derry women has fallen.Health Minister Mike Nesbitt has said inequality should be a ‘challenge for us all’ after a report showed life expectancy among poorer Derry women has fallen.
Health Minister Mike Nesbitt has said inequality should be a ‘challenge for us all’ after a report showed life expectancy among poorer Derry women has fallen.

Male life expectancy in Derry and Strabane’s poorest areas has, by contrast, risen from 71.1 years in 2019-21 to 71.6 years in 2020-22.

Average life expectancy for men in the city and district has also increased from 77.3 years (2019-21) to 77.5 years (2020-22) but the inequality gap remains high at 5.9 years.

The report shows how diseases of the poor like drug and alcohol addiction were much more prevalent in the most deprived areas of the city.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Across the 51 indicators analysed, the majority of outcomes were significantly worse for those residing in the 20 per cent most deprived areas of Derry City & Strabane LGD when compared with the Derry City & Strabane LGD average,” the report states.

The largest inequality gaps observed in the latest reporting period were drug and alcohol deaths and hospital admissions and lung cancer incidence.

In Derry/Strabane’s 20 per cent most deprived areas the death rate for drugs was 168 per cent the district average, the death rate for alcohol was 149 per cent the district average, the admission rate for alcohol was 116 per cent the district average, the admission rate for drugs was 103 per cent the district average, and the lung cancer incidence rate was 92 per cent the district average.

Read More
Drink and drug deaths and hospitalisations responsible for largest Derry inequal...

There were exceptions including ‘deaths due to COVID, suicide rate, low birth weight, babies born small for gestational age, and primary 1 & year 8 overweight and/or affected by obesity, where differences were not statistically significant’.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Health Minister has said the report must be ‘essential reading across all parts of public life’ in the North.

“Health inequalities represent one of my main priority areas as Minister. I am also clear that this a key issue for all parts of Government, as health inequalities are a symptom and a reflection of wider societal inequalities. The 2024 Health Inequalities Annual Report should be essential reading for everyone across Government and public life. Its findings should be a challenge to us all.

“I intend to deliver targeted initiatives in this area in the coming months and to facilitate and encourage an effective cross-Governmental approach,” said Mr. Nesbitt.

An examination of the latest figures from the World Bank demonstrates that life expectancy for poorer Derry men (71.6) remains lower than average life expectancy (both sexes) in Iran (75), North Korea (74), Belarus (73), Russia (73), Libya (72) and Syria (72).

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.