NHS South of England

Study shows people are living longer, but with more public health issues - PHE

Date published:



The combination of unhealthy diets, physical inactivity and high BMI is the biggest overall contributor to the total number of years lived with ill-health, new research shows.

A new study published by the Lancet, funded by the Department of Health and led by Public Health England (PHE), found that potentially preventable risk factors explain 40% of ill-health in England.

The researchers looked at data from 1990-2013 on mortality, causes of death, years of life lost (YLLs), years lived with a disability (YLDs), and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs).

The two biggest risks within this calculation are unhealthy diets and tobacco, accounting for 10.8% and 10.7% respectively of overall disease burden. For women, tobacco is now the number one risk factor, overtaking diet and high blood pressure.

Furthermore, improvements in life expectancy – which rose by 5.4% between 1990 and 2013 – have not been matched by improvements in levels of ill-health. This means that the English population is living longer but spending more years with poor health, often as a result of comorbidity.

The study is available to read here.

A note to our visitors
AcceptWe have updated our Privacy Policy in compliance with EU cookie legislation. Take a look at our Privacy Policy to learn how we use cookies to collect anonymous site usage information. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our Privacy policy.
You'll keep being notified until you click the “Accept” button