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Northern Ireland's life expectancy rates narrowly increase in past five years

Life expectancy rates in Northern Ireland have only narrowly increased over the past five years

LIFE expectancy rates in Northern Ireland have only narrowly increased over the past five years, according to new research.

Figures from the Department of Health reveal the average life expectancy for men in the north increased by six months to 78.5 years, while for women it remains unchanged at 82.3 years.

Decreased mortality rates among 50 to 89-year-olds contributed to the majority of the increase in male life expectancy.

Increases in mortality for females aged under 40 was largely offset by a reduction in deaths among older age groups, with the exclusion of those aged 60 to 69 and 90 and over.

The research also found that any increase in female life expectancy over the period was negated by increased mortality for a range of causes, including mental and behavioural disorders – mainly vascular dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

The report explores the extent to which mortality within certain age groups and causes of death contribute to variations in life expectancy between time periods, genders, deprivation levels and urban and rural areas in Northern Ireland.

Other key findings in the report reveal males born in 2015-17 could expect to live 3.9 years less than their female counterparts.

Male life expectancy for those living in the most deprived areas was 74.2 years – 7.1 years less than that in the least deprived areas.

Females in the most deprived areas had a life expectancy of 79.6 years – 4.5 years lower than that in the least deprived areas.

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