Mortality and illness JSNA

Life expectancy and causes of death

Life expectancy at birth is a very important measure of population health. For female residents of the borough of Rochdale, it is 80.9 years and for males 76.7 (Office for National Statistics, 2018-20). These expectancies are both below the national rates of 83.1 and 79.4 respectively.

What is life expectancy?

Life expectancy is the length of time, on average, that people can expect to live using estimates drawn from the age of deaths in the population. The importance of life expectancy as a summary measure of population health is reflected in its inclusion in the high-level outcomes for the Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF).

The increases in life expectancy observed throughout the 1990s and 2000s have gradually started to level off, leaving a gap between Rochdale and the rest of the North West and England. Much of this gap is explained by differences in life expectancy in affluent and less affluent populations.

What is premature mortality and how does it affect life expectancy?

Premature mortality is considered to be deaths before the age of 75. Some, but not all of these deaths are preventable. The average life expectancy in Rochdale is the lowest in our poorest population groups. Therefore we know that the majority of premature deaths must occur in these groups. This means that tackling early deaths should narrow the gap in health inequality.

The main causes of the difference in life expectancy between Rochdale and England are circulatory disease (including heart disease and stroke - accounting for around 20 per cent of excess deaths), lung cancer (especially in women), respiratory diseases (especially chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and cirrhosis of the liver.

Statistics on life expectancy and causes of death

Information on life expectancy and cause of death