Eastbourne people live longest in UK

EASTBOURNE may be the butt of jokes about 'God's waiting room' but the town is having the last laugh — people live longer here than anywhere else in the UK.

Statistics charting geographical patterns of mortality rates have just revealed that the average age of death in the town is 80.

This compares to just 66 in the Easterhouse area of Glasgow.

The study, called the Grim Reaper's Road Map, was compiled by the universities of Bristol and Sheffield.

Researchers collated figures on nearly 15 million deaths from 1981 to 2004 and mapped them according to age, place and cause.

Researchers divided the UK into 1,282 neighbourhoods, each about the size of half a parliamentary constituency.

Studies concluded that living in an affluent area could prolong your life by up to 14 years.

And research found the overall average age of death was 74.4 — 71.2 for men and 77.4 for women.

In Eastbourne, 42 per cent of people were over 80 when they died, while in the poorest areas, such as Easterhouse, a quarter died under 60.

One of the report's authors, Danny Dorling, said factors in the regional variations were levels of wealth and people's mobility.

Heart disease accounted for just over a quarter of all deaths over the 25-year period and there was a clear north-south divide, with the highest rates of the disease found in the north of England and the west of Scotland.

The number of people dying from violence, alcohol and suicide had also increased since research began.

An Eastbourne Borough Council spokesperson said, "Eastbourne, on the south coast, is a fantastic place to live and offers fresh, clean sea air as well as a beautiful backdrop in the South Downs.

"The resort is officially the sunniest place in the UK with an average 34.6 hours of sunshine a week and with its own unique microclimate it's no wonder people live longer here.

"From enjoying the town's award-winning beaches to skating along the promenade; from hiking over Beachy Head to sailing from Sovereign Harbour Marina, Eastbourne certainly has plenty to encourage a healthy, active, longer lifestyle."