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Chronic conditions keeping people out of work in ‘left behind’ areas


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People who live in the most deprived areas of England are more likely to suffer chronic conditions that prevent them from working, costing the UK economy £29.8bn in lost productivity.
A report that highlights the health inequalities faced by people in “left behind” neighbourhoods (LBNs) finds that the most deprived areas face a higher prevalence of 15 of the most common health conditions, compared with other deprived areas and England as a whole. These conditions included high blood pressure, obesity and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
“Left behind” neighbourhoods feature in the most deprived 10% of areas, determined by their levels of physical and digital connectivity, community engagement and voluntary work, and civic assets such as parks and places for communities to meet.
The proportion of people out of work due to ill health these areas is almost twice the national average, with a higher prevalence of people claiming disability and sickness benefits.
They are also more likely to be out of work due to mental health conditions, with 4.4% claiming incapacity benefits due to mental health conditions compared with 2.3% across England.
The Overcoming Health Inequalities report claims that those who are in employment in these areas work more hours on average than those in the rest of England, and they tend to work in more manual jobs.
The report, from research body the Northern Health Science Alliance and the All-Parliamentary Party Group for left behind neighbourhoods, says that in order to level up health outcomes across England, more funding is needed for targeted health programmes and social infrastructure.

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