Photo: Supplied. A major study found their risk of death before the age of 75 was 20 percent higher in the North

NORTHERNERS are dying younger than their counterparts in the South.

A major study found their risk of death before the age of 75 was 20 percent higher.

Researchers at the University of Manchester said the results told ‘a tale of two Englands’.

Over the past 50 years – from 1965 to 2015 – the North saw 1.2million extra premature deaths. The study also found deaths among middle aged adults in the region have reached ‘alarming levels’.

And rates among younger people were also rising sharply.

Iain Buchan, who led the research, said: ‘Five decades of death records tell a tale of two Englands, North and South, divided by resources and life expectancy – a profound inequality resistant to the public health interventions of successive governments.

‘A new approach is required, one that must address the economic and social factors that underpin early deaths, especially in younger populations, and one that focuses on rebalancing the wider economy to help drive investment in northern towns and cities.

‘The devolution of centralised powers may enable civic leaders to seed the economic growth to tackle this divide, but only if they are given the proportionate northern weighting of funds to do so.’ The study divided England equally into the North – comprising the North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands and West Midlands – and the South comprising the East, South West, London and South East. Professor Buchan said among younger age groups the most common causes of death were suicide, poisoning, car crashes and liver disease.

Over the age of 40, other causes become increasingly common – in particular heart disease in men and breast cancer in women.

Co-author Tim Doran, a professor at the University of York, said: ‘These important findings were made possible by examining public health data – held by the NHS and other agencies – dating back decades.

‘The data, technology and skills now exist to better understand population health and develop public policies to improve it proportionately.’

The study analysed data from the Office for National Statistics on the English population over five decades.

Dr Hakim Yadi, chief executive of the Northern Health Science Alliance, called on the Government to address health inequalities and spend more on health research in the North.

Professor Buchan added: ‘It’s thought provoking. We split the country pretty much in two – roughly below the Severn and above the Wash with about 25million in each.

‘There’s this perception of “It’s grim up North” but I like to look at it from a positive point of view. We are not properly tapping into half the population.

‘The solution is more jobs, infrastructure and economic investment. This is what creates healthier lifestyles.’

© Daily Mail