In Brief

Northerners 20% more likely to die before they're 75

Mortality gap particularly acute among 25 to 34-year-olds, say scientists

People living in the north of England have a greater chance of dying under the age of 75 than those in the south, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal.

Research from the universities of Manchester and York, based on official death records from 1965-2015, found northerners were 20 per cent more likely to die at a younger age.

"The problem is particularly stark among very young people," The Independent says. "There were 29 per cent more deaths among 25-34 year olds in the north in 2015, and a 35-44 year old is a full 49 per cent more likely to die suddenly if they live in the north rather than the south."

The scientists did not examine the causes of death.

Lead researcher Iain Buchan said: "Five decades of death records tell a tale of two Englands, north and south, divided by resources and life expectancy - a profound inequality resistant to the public health interventions of successive governments".

An accompanying editorial in the British Medical Journal says the north-south health divide is at its widest for 40 years and warns "the north is being decimated at the rate of a major city every decade".

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