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UK children's life expectancy has fallen by three years, according to new Office for National Statistics report

The i logo The i 02/12/2019
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The life expectancy of children in the UK has had years knocked off, according to a report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It found that a baby girl born in 2019 is now likely to celebrate on average three fewer birthdays than previous projections.

A boy born in 2019 is now expected to live for 87.8 years. In 2016 it was predicted he would reach 89.7, and in 2014 the data said 91.1.

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In 2014 official data calculated that girl would live to 93.6. However, now that figure is 90.4.

Dramatic

According to the report, figures for 2043 will see a dramatic drop in children reaching 100.

Two years ago projections thought that 34.1 per cent of newborn boys and 40.2 per cent of newborn girls would reach 100.

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This latest report, however, says 20.8 per cent of newborn boys and 26.1 per cent of newborn girls are expected to reach 100.

Experts say that previous estimates were too high.

Since 2011 there has been a slowdown in life expectancy and in 2018 life expectancy growth stalled for the first time in more than 30 years.

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The ONS said of the slowdown:"There has been considerable public debate about the causes of the slowdown in life expectancy improvements.

"Researchers have suggested a range of possible explanations for the slowdown... several factors are at play, none of which can be singled out as being the most important with any certainty."

Dementia

The creation of the NHS as well as falls in smoking, the introduction of childhood immunisation and medical advances for big killers such as heart disease, stroke and cancer saw life expectancy improve in the 20th century.

Nurse consoling her elderly patient by holding her hands Nurse consoling her elderly patient by holding her hands

However, dementia is now the leading cause of death and it is incurable. Death from drug misuse is also quoted with Scotland having the highest drug death rate in the EU.

Austerity and the introduction of government cuts coincides with the slowdown in life expectancy.

A report by Public Health England said the poorest people have been the hardest hit by austerity when it comes to life expectancy.

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