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Declining life expectancy in US, UK rooted in 2008 economic crisis: Analyst

The declining life expectancy in the United States and Britain is the result of the financial crisis that hit these countries in 2008, according to a Scottish political activist, author and journalist.

The so-called Great Recession which followed the 2008 financial crash and austerity measures implemented by the governments in the UK and US led to lower life expectancy in these countries, Chris Bambery told Press TV on Sunday.

“This has impacted on the level of care people have, particularly older people who need looking after. It has also affected housing and increased the number of homeless.”

Bambery said the downward trend in life expectancy and an increase in early deaths were exacerbated by “the lack of any source of provision and any backup.”

“Jobs people are getting are increasingly precarious, temporary jobs, short term contracts and so on," Bambery added. He cited economic problems as the root of the sudden increase in premature deaths across Britain and the United States.

This file photo, taken on July 23, 2017, shows a homeless man on Broadway Market in east London, Britain. (By AFP)

"A lack of provision, a lack of support, more stress in their lives, a poorer diet, all that is contributing to a fall in the average age,” according to Bamberry. “All these things contribute to how long people live.”

A columnist and an Oxford university professor says a downward trend in life expectancy and an increase in early deaths registered among men and women in the United States and Britain are rooted in economic and social malaises.

Will Hutton, a columnist for The Observer and the principal of Hertford College, Oxford, wrote in an opinion piece on The Guardian on Sunday that people in the US and Britain “are experiencing not merely a slowdown in life expectancy, which in many other rich countries is continuing to lengthen, but the start of an alarming increase in death rates across all our populations, men and women alike.”

He called it “a barely reported public health crisis.”

In the article, Hutton cited statistics from the British Medical Journal (BMJ) showing that midlife death rates across racial and ethnic groups in the US had increased during 1999-2016.

The BMJ article says a vicious cycle of poverty and neglect was the main factor in the early deaths of poor working-age Americans of all races.


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