Suffolk: Life expectancy in the county can vary by up to six years - view our interactive charts to see how you are affected

NEW data illustrating significant disparities in the health of people in Suffolk can today be revealed by the EADT.

Life expectancy can vary by up to six years depending on your gender and which part of Suffolk you live in, the statistics show.

A baby boy born in Ipswich between 2008-10 can expect to live 78.2 years, compared with a baby girl in mid-Suffolk whose life expectancy is 84.2 years.

The figures, obtained from the Department of Health, also reveal four out of six Suffolk districts have higher instances of a dangerous skin cancer than the national average. St Edmundsbury is the highest with 18.1 cases of malignant melanoma per 100,000 people under the age of 75, followed by Forest Heath, 17.3; Waveney, 15.3; and Mid Suffolk, 14.3. The average in England is 13.6.

NHS Suffolk says many of the indicators - except significantly, skin cancer - are linked to levels of deprivation.

This view is supported by figures that show areas such as Ipswich and Waveney have the worst indicators for life expectancy and early death from heart disease or cancer.

But there are more surprising disparities from within Suffolk districts.

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For example Suffolk Coastal - which includes Woodbridge, Aldeburgh and Framlingham - is one of the strongest performers for life expectancy (83.7 years for women, 80.4 for men) and early deaths from heart disease and strokes (52.4 per 100,000 against national average of 67.3). But early deaths from cancer in Suffolk Coastal, 101.2 per 100,000, is the third highest in the county - behind Ipswich and Waveney - and significantly higher than Forest Heath with 85.7.

However overall Suffolk performs better than the national average - in seven key categories picked out by the EADT only cases of malignant melanoma were worse than in England generally.

Tessa Lindfield, director of public health at NHS Suffolk, said the figures are more significant if you drill down to ward rather than district level.

She added: “We recognise these profiles as being hugely useful, because they give us a good summary of where we are compared with the rest of the country.

“They show us the health of Suffolk is pretty good but that we have differences between deprived and less deprived areas.”

She said there was a link between deprivation and health issues such as childhood obesity and early death from heart disease and stroke.

But she added: “Malignant melanoma is not associated with deprivation, it’s more associated with occupation or if you go on lots of holidays.”

To see how Suffolk compares to neighbouring Essex, click on the link above.

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