June 25, 2008

Smoking and Obesity on the Rise in Lincoln

There are more smokers and fat people in Lincoln compared to last year - but there are also more healthy eaters too.

A fresh snapshot of the city's health has just been released by the Government and it shows some major changes over the past year or so.

Life expectancy for women has climbed from 79.4 to 80 years old but the situation for men has not improved - they still die aged 76.3 on average.

The figures have been produced for each local authority by the Association of Public Health Observatories.

According to the authors of the report: "The health of people in Lincoln is generally significantly worse than the England average.

"Levels of violent crime, physical activity in children, teenage pregnancy, hospital stays related to alcohol and early deaths from heart disease and stroke are worse in Lincoln than the England average.

"Over the last 10 years, deaths from all causes have decreased for men and women in Lincoln but have remained above the average for England."

The new figures also reveal that 26 per cent of Lincoln people are overweight - compared to 23 per cent the year before. And 34.7 per cent of city people smoke, compared with 31.1 per cent the year before.

But it is not all doom and gloom. The number of children in the city who got GCSE grades A* to C rose from 57.7 per cent to 69.9 per cent.

And recorded violent crimes per 1,000 people fell from 33.3 to 31.9. Teenage pregnancy may still be worse than average but it fell from 61.3 pregnancies per 1,000 girls aged 15-17 to 57.7 in 2008.

The percentage of healthy eaters in the city has gone from just 18 in 2007 to 26 in 2008.

Public Health Minister, Dawn Primarolo said: "Inequalities around the country are stark, but the NHS and Local Authorities can use these profiles to target local health hotspots with effective measures to make a real difference."

To find out what local people think about the state of the city, see Tuesday's Lincolnshire Echo.

(c) 2008 Lincolnshire Echo. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.