Suffolk 'one of UK's healthiest regions'

SUFFOLK may be one of the most attractive parts of the country but it is officially one of the healthiest too.

Anthony Bond

SUFFOLK may be one of the most attractive parts of the country but it is officially one of the healthiest too.

Figures released yesterdayshow that if you are male and live in the Suffolk Coastal and Mid Suffolk districts you have one of the highest chances of living until 75 than elsewhere in England and Wales.

Suffolk Coastal - which includes picturesque towns such as Framlingham and Aldeburgh - has the fifth highest probability for men with a 75.1% chance of reaching 75.

The Mid Suffolk district - with places such as Stowmarket, Eye and Debenham - was sixth highest in England and Wales for men with a probability of 74.9%.

It was also good news for women in the Mid Suffolk area - the district was placed 20th in the list with women having an 82.5% chance of making it to 75.

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The South Norfolk district was second in the rankings for men, with 76% chance of residents reaching 75.

Ray Herring, leader of Suffolk Coastal District Council, said he was pleased with the findings: “I think being a coastal area has an impact and whilst we attract good numbers of visitors there is tranquillity about the district.

“It is an attractive place to retire too, in other words we do attract good numbers of retired people who enjoy a relaxing lifestyle and enjoy the countryside so it is a mixture of those elements.”

The figures were released by the Office of National Statistics and highlighted a north/south divide.

People in East Dorset are the best off, with men having a 78% chance of living to 75 and women having an 86% chance. At the other end of the scale, men in Manchester have just a 52% chance and women in Blaenau Gwent, Wales, have a 67% chance followed by Manchester (68%) and Liverpool (68.5%).

Dr Tim Crayford, president of the Association of Directors of Public Health, said: “Health inequalities largely come about through differences in people's family environment, education and personal wealth.

“These affect the values that people place on health and life and knowing the importance of making healthy choices.

“For example, smoking is one of the behaviours that has the biggest impact on your health and people from deprived backgrounds are more likely to smoke.”

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