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Health atlas reveals postcode lottery
A health atlas has unveiled a postcode lottery for medical and environmental risks across Sussex.
Experts have created a series of new maps which show in detail whether or not a small area has lower or higher risk of a number of illnesses when compared to the averages for England and Wales.
Geographical patterns for 14 diseases and conditions including breast cancer, lung cancer, heart disease and low birth rates have been mapped out by the Small Area Health Statistics Unit in London
The atlas also shows number of environmental hazards including air pollution, levels of sunshine and pesticides.
The maps provide an indication of the health risk for the area compared to the national average.
For example, the risk of skin cancer is above average in the East Brighton and Hangleton and Knoll areas of Brighton and Hove whereas it is below average in Hanover and Elm Grove.
There are higher rates of lung cancer in Hellingly compared to the Meads ward in Eastbourne while there is a higher risk of heart disease among people in Arundel compared to those in Hassocks.
Parts of Brighton and Hove were also found to have consistently lower health risks compared to the rest of the country.
Brighton and Hove City Council public health consultant Alistair Hill said: “It’s very encouraging that this report suggests that people in some wards of Brighton and Hove face lower health risks from some health conditions.
“But we also know that locally our city faces particular challenges, including poor mental health, sexual health and high levels of drug and alcohol misuse, as well as environmental risks such as poor air quality in some parts of the city.
“In addition, latest figures show a gap in life expectancy between the most affluent and most deprived in the city of more than 10.1 years for men and 6.6 years for women.
“So we are focusing further efforts on the factors influencing health including education, housing, poverty and the environment ensuring as well as ensuring services that improve health reach individuals and communities who will benefit most.”
The website can be found at www.envhealthatlas.co.uk.
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