Top doctor: social inequality in UK costing 550 lives every day

Benefit tales

Sir Michael Marmot, soon to be president of World Medical Association, says hundreds of thousands are dying

More than 200,000 people in the UK are dying prematurely because of social inequalities that risk becoming entrenched, a top doctor has said.

Sir Michael Marmot, who had advised the coalition on the link between health and wealth, warned that research revealed a stark “social gradient” emerging in Britain. The poor not only die on average seven years sooner than the rich, but they can expect to face becoming disabled 17 years earlier. The middle classes in the country had life expectancies of eight years less than the very richest.

However, it was in the field of education where Marmot said the research vividly showed how unfair life was becoming. “If everybody had the same mortality of those with a university education, then [each year] we could prevent 202,000 premature deaths. “If…

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