Nearly half UK’s HIV patients are living in London

HIV test

Just under half the people in the UK living with HIV are in London.  The latest data from Public Health England shows that of the 68,664 people who were diagnosed as HIV positive, 31,393 were living in the capital.

The prevelence of HIV in the population of England is 2.14 people per 1000.  In London it is 5.7.  A borough-level breakdown of the numbers for 2013 shows that Lambeth and Southwark have the highest rates by some margin.  There are 3,342 people in Lambeth being treated and 2,692 in Southwark.

The proportion for the City represents just 57 patients. The only boroughs where patient rates are below the England average are Havering and Kingston.

HIV map

The data is based on the number of people aged 15-59 living with a diagnosed HIV infection who are resident in a local authority area and who were seen for HIV care at an NHS site.

HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus.  It weakens a person’s immune system, damaging the ability to fight off diseases.  The virus was first diagnosed in 1982. It is treated with drugs that stop the virus reproducing but do not cure the infection.  Patients with HIV need continuing treatment, which is now so effective that those diagnosed are seeing normal life expectancy.

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See also:

Sexual infection map shows problems for Lambeth and Southwark

For more information on living with HIV see Terrence Higgins Trust

Women in London will live longer than anywhere in the UK

pensioner coupleLife expectancy for women in London is the highest in the UK, and for men it has seen the biggest improvement in the country.

Girls born between 2011-13 can expect to live 84.1 years, a year longer than the average for England. Boys can expect to live to 80, which is a little below the average for the South East but above the England average of 79.4.

Life expectancy 2

There is also good news for today’s pensioners. For those who have reached 65 the prospects are better in London than elsewhere in the country. Men of 65 will live, on average, for 19.1 years. For women it is 21.9 years.

Life expectancy 65 2

While there is a positive picture for the whole city the borough level breakdown of the figures from the Office for National Statistics shows a richer/poorer divide. Kensington and Chelsea has the highest life expectancy for both men and women. Barking and Dagenham the lowest. Men in the royal borough can expect to live 5 years longer and women 4 years longer than those in Barking and Dagenham

Life expectancy men map Life expectancy women borough map

London is not only noticeable in the national data for its high rankings but also for the level of improvement in the last 10 and 20 years. Since 1993 longevity for men has increased by 7 years and women can expect to live for 6 years longer. Camden has seen the biggest improvements in London. In the past 20 years life expectancy there for men has gone up by 10 years, and for women by 7 years.

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Well-being and wealth – how South West London soars ahead of the rest

Fine homes in Kensington and Chelsea,  where well-being is high

Fine homes in Kensington and Chelsea, where well-being is high

The happiest and most contented people in London live largely in the well-to-do South West of the city. The area where more people are unhappy or feel they are struggling is Enfield.

That is the finding from the Greater London Authority’s well-being index, and data just released shows how residents rate their well-being across 625 wards, the neighbourhoods within boroughs. Perhaps predictably people in the wealthier areas of London rate their well-being as high, those in poorer neighbourhoods do not.

The GLA defined well-being by identifying 12 criteria for people to rate across the categories of health, economic security, safety, education, childcare, families, transport, environment, and happiness

The results show that the happiest, most secure and contented people in London live in the up-market Knightsbridge/Belgravia ward in the borough of Westminster.

The top 20 wards included 15 in affluent South West London, including wards in Kensington and Chelsea, Richmond, Merton and Kingston. Bromley in the South East featured strongly with 4 wards in the top 20. West London scored 1 top 20 place with Northfield ward in Ealing.

The top 5:

Position Ward Borough
1 Knightsbridge and Belgravia Westminster
2 Campden Kensington and Chelsea
3 West Wickham Bromley
4 South Twickenham Richmond upon Thames
5 East Sheen Richmond upon Thames

The lowest sense of well-being was recorded in Edmonton Green in Enfield. Enfield scores high in the unhappiness stakes with 3 other wards in the bottom 10. The bottom 20 are concentrated in  North and North East London and include wards in Haringey, Barking and Dagenham, Newham, Hackney, Brent, Tower Hamlets, Havering, plus Croydon in the south.

The bottom 5;

Position Ward Borough
621 Upper Edmonton Enfield
622 Northumberland Park Haringey
623 Harlsden Brent
624 Fieldway Croydon
625 Edmonton Green Enfield

The ward map underlines how people in South West and West London have a high sense of well-being which is not shared by their fellow Londoners in the poorer areas in the North.  The green areas represent high scores, the orange and red, low scores on the index.

well being map 9

While East London gets lower scores, the corridor along both banks of the Thames between Canary Wharf and Thamesmead has shown a marked improvement since 2009.

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Sporty Londoners prefer solo exercise

h38% of Londoners are taking part in some form of sporting activity at least once a week.  While solo sports are the favourite way of keeping fit, football is by far the most popular team game with 5% of people over 16 playing each week.

The data on sport in the capital is captured in the Active People survey carried out by Sport England.  They spoke to 160,000 people across England in October last year.  Urbs took a detailed look at the data for people over 16 participating in sport at least once a week.

Sports such as running, swimming, cycling or going to the gym are by far the most popular with 30% of Londoners exercising on their own.  12% are down the gym, making it the favourite solo sporting activity. 6% are swimming,  which is becoming less popular.

Team sports are played by 7% of adults. Football dominates participation in team games and has grown in popularity since 2010. Football also proves more popular in London than the rest of England.

1 on 1 games like tennis and badminton also feature in the survey responses.  These games are enjoyed by 4% of over 16s in the capital.

Sport participation

Londoners emerge from the survey as slightly more active than people across England and with more taking part in sport than in 2010.  But that still leave 62% sitting on the sofa or watching from the sideline rather than taking part.

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Low ranking on infant deaths puts London behind other cities

hLondon has a higher infant death rate than many other wealthy international capitals, according to a study by Save the Children.

As part of a wide assessment of infant mortality the charity looked at urban areas across the globe, including 25 cities in wealthy developed countries.  London came 19th in the list of 25 that was topped by Prague.  The infant death rate in London is 4 in every 1000 live births.  In Prague, Stockholm and Oslo it is half that.

Infant mortality

Washington DC came bottom of the ranking with a death rate of 7.9 infants per thousand.  Within the US capital there is a wide discrepancy with the death rate 10 times higher in the poorest neighbourbood as the richest one.

Urban populations are growing worldwide, and while this has led to better survival rates for children under 5, according to Save the Children, there is a growing gap between urban rich and urban poor.  Survival rates for the poorest children in city slum areas are as bad or worse than those for rural areas.

State of the World’s Mothers – the Urban Disadvantage

Sexual infection map shows problems for Lambeth and Southwark

Lambeth and Southwark have the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections in London.  Data from Public Health England shows the two south London boroughs have substantially more cases of both syphilis and gonorrhoea than other areas.

Lambeth has 91 cases of syphilis per 100,000 people. Southwark has 82.  In neighbouring Wandsworth it is 22 and in Merton 11.  The lowest incidence is in Havering and Harrow with just 2 cases per 100,000.  The darker colours on the borough map of London represent the highest rates of infection.

The picture is similar for cases of gornorrhoea.  In Lambeth there are 155 cases per 100,000 people.  In Southwark it is 398 and in Hackney 351. The average for London is 155 but some boroughs have a fraction of that number.

The rate of STIs is 3 times higher in London that it is for England as a whole.

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Size matters – and it depends where you live

Obese copyLondon has a lower rate of adult obesity than any other region of England but there are large variations across the capital. 19.6% of Londoners are obese compared to the average for England of 23%. That goes up to a little over 25% in Yorkshire, Humberside and the North East.

But levels are even higher in some London boroughs as the map below shows.  Barking and Dagenham has 32% obesity and City of London 31%. That’s nearly three times the level in Kensington and Chelsea with 11.2%. Richmond also scores well with just 12.1% of residents classified as obese. It is double that in Hillingdon, Enfield, Bexley and Lewisham.

The data is based upon the Health Survey for England, the Sport England Active Person Survey and BMI information from the Understanding Society study for Health England.

Obesity is measured using the Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters. The NHS’s easy calculator is here. A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal, healthy weight. Below 18.5 is underweight, above 25 is overweight and 30 and above is obese.

Londoners also score well when looking at that data for people at a normal, healthy weight. In London it’s 41% compared to 35% of people across England. And in Kensington and Chelsea, Richmond, and Hammersmith and Fulham 50% of people or more are in this category.

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Breast cancer screening lag

Breast cancer scan copyBreast cancer screening rates for London remain below the national average in England for the fifth year in a row. Data analysis by Urbs shows that 68.9% of eligible women aged 53-70 were screened last year. But that’s 9% below the rate for England as a whole.

London has managed to close the gap over the past five years. In 2007-08 London lagged 16% behind the national average.

The data is collected at borough level and shows a clear division in the capital between the performance of inner and outer London. The four best performing boroughs of Havering, Bexley, Bromley, Harrow all beat the average rate for England. The nine worse performing boroughs were all inner city. Islington came bottom, 24% below national average, followed by Kensington and Chelsea, 22% lower.

Islington’s performance has dropped year-on-year by 15%. During the same period the number of eligible women fell by 2%. Lewisham, Sutton, Croydon, Merton and Kingston also saw a drop in their year-on-year figures but all saw some increase in the numbers of eligible women.

671,463 women in London were eligible for breast cancer screening in 2014. Women aged 50-70 are offered the service as they are seen as the highest risk group who can benefit most through screening.

During the process a radiographer creates a special kind of X-ray called a mammogram, where an image of the breast is created by passing very low dose x-rays through the breast tissue.

In a study in 2011 Cancer Research UK estimated that screening saves the lives of approximately 1,300 women each year.

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More information about breast cancer here.

 

Childhood obesity highest in London

Obesity_London_ 2The rate of obesity in young people aged 10-19 is 40 per cent higher in London than the rest of England. While London enjoys a good record compared to the national average in all adult age groups the numbers for youngsters suggest future health problems for London families.

Across England 3.1% of youngsters are classified as obese. But in London that figure jumps to 5.3%. In all other age groups London levels are below the national average.

Adult Obesity by age

The data is based upon the Health Survey for England, the Sport England Active Person Survey and BMI information from the Understanding Society study for Health England.

Obesity is measured using the Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters. The NHS’s easy calculator is here.  A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal, healthy weight. Below 18.5 is underweight, above 25 is overweight and 30 and above is obese.

Obesity is broken down into three categories – severely obese, morbidly obese and super obesity. All the children in London are in the first category. Across England there are a small number of teenagers in the other two.

Obesity is linked to a number of health problems, including type-2 diabetes and heart disease.

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