London, Oct 20 : Residing in a well-off neighbourhood may add almost 14 years to your life, according to an 'atlas of death'.
Titled 'The Grim Reaper's Road Map', the report found that the average age of death varied between 66 years in the Easterhouse area of Glasgow and 80 in Eastbourne, Sussex. Produced by the Universities of Bristol and Sheffield, the study examined the geographical patterns of mortality rates around the UK, by compiling data on nearly 15 million deaths from 1981 to 2004, which was then mapped based on the age, location and cause.
For their research, the team divided the UK into more than 1,000 neighbourhoods, each approximately the size of half a parliamentary constituency.
The maps display a person's chance of dying from a particular cause in a particular place, as compared to the national average for that cause of death.
According to Danny Dorling, professor of geography at Sheffield University and one of the report's authors, the maps showed sharp regional differences.
On the whole, the average age of death was found to be 74.4 - 71.2 for men and 77.4 for women.
However, when it came to the most affluent areas such as Eastbourne, it was found that 42 per cent of people were over 80 when they died. On the other hand, almost 25 percent people died before 60 in the poorest areas, such as Easterhouse.
More than 25 percent of deaths were caused owing to heart disease over the 25-year period.
A visible north-south divide was seen in the mortality rates for the disease, with almost all neighbourhoods with the highest rates being found in the north of England and west of Scotland, particularly around Glasgow. One more north-south split was found for lung cancer, with clusters found in Liverpool, Manchester, Tyneside and central London.
Poverty and social mobility were key factors that led to the regional variation in death rates, according to Dorling who said the variation had become more pronounced over time.
"This is not just about poverty. Poverty is part of it, but it's also about people moving around the country to improve their health and wealth," The Telegraph quoted him, as saying.
He added: "Part of the reason east Glasgow has such poor health is that it has one of the highest rates of out-migration. People who are able to do so, move out of the area to more affluent areas."