Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Concerns over Sheffield women's health

Woman smoking
Image caption The report said the state of the city's health generally had improved in the past three decades

The health of Sheffield women has been described as a "cause for concern".

An NHS report on the state of the city's health shows life expectancy for men has improved in the past year but life expectancy for women stalled.

It says this may be down to women "increasingly adopting lifestyles more traditionally associated with men, such as smoking and drinking to excess".

The report also shows those living in wealthy areas live eight years longer than those in poorer communities.

Women in the less affluent parts of the city can expect to die 8.2 years before those in the more affluent parts. That gap was 6.3 years in 2004-06.

The gap between men narrowed from 10.2 years four years ago to 8.6 years in 2008-10.

The report was written by Dr Jeremy Wight, Sheffield's director of public health.

Further analysis

He said: "We have looked back to 1974... and noted the big improvements in health since then.

"The health of people in Sheffield is better than it ever has been. Death rates from the major diseases continue to fall steadily.

"It is particularly good to see that the latest analysis of inequality in life expectancy across the city shows a narrowing of the gap for men."

Dr Wight said the "less good picture" for women was, however, a "cause for concern".

He said: "Not only has the improvement in life expectancy stalled, but the inequality in female life expectancy across the city is now widening.

"This may well be the consequence of women increasingly adopting lifestyles more traditionally associated with men, such as smoking and drinking alcohol to excess.

"We will undertake further analysis of this widening in inequality in women in order to enable us to best address the causes."

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