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Men born in poor areas 'live five years less'

IRISH men who are born in the most deprived areas are living up to five years less than those who live in more affluent areas.

The life expectancy at birth for men living in the most deprived areas is 73.7 years compared to 78 for those living in more affluent areas.

Meanwhile, women continue to live longer than men -- life expectancy for women is 80 in the most deprived areas compared to 82.7 years for women living in the most affluent areas.

The statistics are contained in a new document drawn up by the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) and the British Medical Association Northern Ireland (BMA(NI)).

They launched a joint policy document in the European Parliament, Brussels, setting out their recommendations and calling on the EU to use its influence to ensure that co-ordinated policy initiatives to address health inequalities are prioritised.

The figures in the document show that life expectancy for male Travellers is 15.1 years lower than the general male population and mortality rates among Traveller men, women and infants are over three times higher than the general population.

Meanwhile, the document said that while income levels in Ireland and Northern Ireland are closer to the European average, substantial inequalities exist in the distribution of income.

The figures show that the wealthiest 10pc of the population possess more than one quarter of all income, while the least wealthy 10pc possess less than one 40th of all income.

The document said that, in Ireland, evidence shows that lower socio-economic groups have "relatively high mortality rates, higher levels of ill health and fewer opportunities and resources to adopt healthier lifestyles".

In Northern Ireland, figures show that children from the poorest families are four times more likely to die before the age of 20, and 15 times more likely to die in accidents.

In their document Health Inequalities -- The Medical Profession Highlight Their Concerns, the IMO and the BMA (NI) call for Governments to recognise the importance of as large a proportion of the population as possible having rewarding, productive and secure employment.