October 21, 2009 12:01 AM

Today, the Office of National Statistics released figures revealing that the life expectancy at birth of both Welsh men and women has fallen further behind the UK average over the last 15 years.

Commenting, Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, said:

"While life expectancy has improved across the UK, it is clear that Wales is lagging behind the average.

"Welsh baby boys born today can now expect to live almost a whole year less than English baby boys. Welsh baby girls have seen the smallest rise in their life expectancy of any part of the UK.

"Given the Welsh industrial legacy, you could expect geographical differences in life expectancy for older generations. But these figures suggest that the gap in life expectancy at birth between Wales and other parts of the UK has actually grown, not shrunk.

"This likely to be an indication of the health impact of persistently high levels of poverty in Wales compared to many other parts of the UK."

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