1 February, 2016

Location, Location, Location – Does Where You Live Pose A Threat To Your Health?

We all worry about the things that could affect our health, but could the risk of developing a serious medical condition change depending on where we live in the UK?

Row of coloured houses - how safe is your street
How safe is the area you live for your health?

Analysis of national statistics by Benenden – a health & wellbeing provider – delves into the varying risks of developing medical conditions across different areas of the country.

Analyse your chance of getting ill in your region

On the back of this, Benenden have developed a Risk By Region tool for people across the country to check which major medical conditions are most likely within their region.

Using publicly available health statistics, the tool looks at the national average – based on occurrences per 1000 people, and uses “relative risk” to provide statistics that look at how more or less likely you are to potentially develop a serious medical condition based on your location.

For example, if you live in East Sussex you have the most reduced risk of developing a serious medical condition, whereas people in Hampshire are deemed to have the most increased risk.

Areas of high and low risk?

Other high risk areas are Merseyside, Tyne and Wear, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Durham, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Lancashire and West Yorkshire.

Areas with the lowest risk also include Suffolk, Herefordshire, Rutland, Lincolnshire, Cumbria, Norfolk, Shropshire, Worcestershire and West Sussex.

Differences between male and female risk

There is also a big difference between men and women and which medical conditions they are more likely to get based on where they live.

Men are 35% more likely to develop heart disease if they live in London than if they live in Manchester. But a man in Yorkshire is 13% less likely to develop heart disease than a man living in Bristol.

Women are 21% more likely to be at risk of breast cancer if they live in Cheshire compared to women who live in Cambridgeshire. And if you are female in Cornwall you are 14% less likely suffer from heart disease than a woman in Merseyside.

I live in the Vale of Glamorgan which ranks 50th out of 71 counties across England and Wales for risk of a medical condition in females, with lung cancer topping the list.

Benenden Risk By Region Tool Screenshot - Vale of Glamorgan - motherdistracted.co.uk
The Benenden Risk By Region Tool

This ‘Risk by Region’ tool is designed to raise people’s awareness of the higher risk medical conditions in their area so they can take a more informed view of their approach to health and lifestyle.

Granola and fruit - healthy lifestyle - Benenden Risk By Region Tool - motherdistracted.co.uk
We still need to keep ourselves fit by maintaining a healthy lifestyle

It does not, however, make any assumptions about your current lifestyle.  In all likelihood, those areas with higher risk may be home to a greater ageing population, or have higher levels of obesity, alcohol intake or smoking related diseases.

The varying quality of NHS medical provision may also be a factor.

So before you take Kirstie and Phil’s advice and put down the deposit on your dream home, it might just be worth checking to see what effect your des res might have on your health – or at the very least consider taking out some decent health insurance!

You can access the Benenden Risk By Region Tool HERE. and read the Daily Mail’s coverage HERE.

Further information at www.benenden.co.uk 

*collaborative post

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