Eastbourne is one of the healthiest areas in England and Wales to live, according to the outcome of a massive fact-finding project.
The UK Health Atlas – published last week – shows risks of developing a variety of diseases and conditions according to where people live.
The Atlas breaks down the figures ward by ward in every county. And although Eastbourne as a whole is shown as very healthy, some diseases are more prevalent in the Hampden Park area than other parts of the town. People across Eastbourne suffer some of the lowest rates of lung, liver and kidney cancers in the country. Statistics also show brain and bladder cancers are rare but women in the town are just as likely as women across Britain to contract breast cancer.
Babies born to local mothers are unlikely to be stillborn or suffer low birth weights but this is where the Hampden Park issue comes into play, with stillbirths and low birthweights here measuring higher than average on the scale. Likewise, while heart disease in the central wards features at the very lowest point on the national chart, in Hampden Park figures show you are more likely than most in the country to contract a heart-related disease.
Three charts defy the town’s healthy reputation; diagnoses of leukaemia fall above the average, mesothelioma is very high in the Devonshire ward and higher than average elsewhere and skin cancers are well above the national norm. Mesotheliomia is an industrial disease affecting people who have been exposed to asbestos at an early stage of their life, particularly in shipbuilding or engineering environments, and the higher figure could relate to the age profile of some wards in Eastbourne.
But the town’s incidence of skin cancers appear in the country’s highest band, indicating perhaps that Eastbourne is one of the sunniest parts of the UK. The only other comparable area on the Health Atlas is the far west of England. The maps were drawn up by the UK’s Small Area Health Statistics Unit from Imperial College, London and the figures are taken from the years between 1985 and 2009.