Death Note

I don't say he's a great man. Willie Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He's not the finest character that ever lived. But he's a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He's not to be allowed to fall in his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person. 
- Death of a Salesman

A study by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has found that men in the Lewisham Central ward have the lowest life expectancy in London  - only 70.9 years, compared with a national average of 78.2 years.


Anonymous said...

Due to the new influx of dishonest fare. Let's go back to keeping it real.

HeckMcBuff said...

Have you never wondered why there are so many funeral parlours in Brockley?

Anonymous said...

Other fun Lewisham facts (this data from 2009)

Men born in Blackheath are expected to live for eight years longer than men born in New Cross.

Lewisham women die more frequently from cervical cancer, at almost twice the national average rate.

A substantial proportion of Lewisham’s children are living in poor circumstances, with 26% of households with children 16 and under having no working parent. Of households with children, 34% are headed by a lone parent. Over half of lone parents in Lewisham, and in some wards almost two thirds, are not working.

12% of young women and 19% of young
men tested positive under the Chlamydia screening programme.

Anonymous said...

In other words: "All play and no work, makes Jack a ..... boy "

Anonymous said...

We know about the problems, yet what is the Council going to do about it? Nothing, as these people all vote for whoever provides for their jobless and comfortable lives.

Jan said...


'Lewisham has the 2nd highest teenage conception rates in London and joint third highest rates in England'

However, one way to improve the stats is to encourage others to move in and for them to insist on better services i.e education and health.

How are these figures compiled. Is it by deaths in the hospital or by people's postal codes, as there are also lots of funeral parlours near the hospital.

Anonymous said...

Which borough has the highest teenage conception rate?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

oops spelling failure: Southwark

max said...

Fried chicken kills!

Nick O'teen said...

I wonder how many people smoke in Lewisham by comparison to other boroughs?

The Judge of All said...

It's the chicken.

Anonymous said...

Given how much of this blog seems to be taken up with eating, food, food, more food, eating and eating - I'm surprised that the early death toll isn't higher.

Anonymous said...

@anon 19:12, well done for totally missing the point! These statistics are linked to poverty not how much artisan cheese you eat

Anonymous said...

@anon 06.47, well done for totally missing the point! Fried chicken and dirty pizza kills ......eventually

Anonymous said...

...or is it dirty chicken and fried pizza? doubt both are plentiful in our junkfood bountiful borough

max said...

These statistics are not just about poverty, they're about lifestyle habits and despite the fact that many unhealthy habits are prevalent among poorer people it's not just like that.

In fact despite the fact that Lewisham Central is poorer than many places in London I don't believe it's the poorest, it's rather a mixed bag actually.

Diet is a major lifestyle habit and fried chicken is just an example of what many people use as a substitute for a healthy and balanced diet.
I believe that the other more relevant lifestyles habits are exercise and stress and although there is a clear link between poverty and stress it's not so for nutrition and exercise, you can eat a balanced diet on very little money and you can exercise for even less. The fact that many people decide not to do it is more of a cultural problem than an economic one, in fact it may be just as prevalent among people with some money than among those without.

It's a symptom of discomfort in life and general unhappiness, depression if you want. Comfort food on a background of low energy interrupted by spikes when a sugarbomb in a can is gulped (drinking coke is just as bad as smoking IMHO).

Fried chicken is a good symbol of the typical wrong lifestyle choice as you find it in Lewisham Central.

david said...

Totally agree Max. These issues are all about lifestyle and not economics. Awareness campaigns for this sort of thing did fall under the remit of the Public Health directorate of NHS London and local Primary Care Trusts. As both will cease to exist shortly it'll become a joint responsibility for local authorities - overseen by Public Health England - and NHS Commissioners. So potentially issues like this could become a greater part of local election campaigns.

There's lots more about the new system on the DH's website.

Anonymous said...

Max, yes true some factors are 'lifestyle' related rather than directly linked to poverty, however the 2 things are surely very strongly linked?
■Infant deaths (deaths before the age of 12 months) are 50% more common in families from manual social backgrounds as families from non-manual social backgrounds.
■People in the poorest fifth of incomes are far more likely to be at risk of a mental health problem than those in the richest fifth (22% – 7% for men, 24% – 12% for women).
■Two-fifths of adults aged 45 to 64 with below-average incomes have a limiting long-term illness, more than twice the rate for adults of the same age with above-average incomes.
■Death rates for cancer and heart disease, the two biggest causes of death for under 65s, are about twice as high for people from manual rather than non-manual backgrounds.

max said...

Well, obviously being rich is better than being poor, and it would be ludicrous to deny that money can't buy you a better expectation of life. But each of these data is a separate issue.

I start with the third point, which one is the cause and which one is the consequence? Honestly, isn't it obvious that people with life-limiting illnesses earn less than those without life-limiting illnesses?

And in a bit of a disingenuous way you could say the same for the third although of course poverty is cause of stress that then can bring mental illness. Still, some of those will be poor because they're mentally ill rather than the opposite.

On the infant deaths, ok people with money can go private, but in what way would lack of money prevent a parent from going to see the doctor for concerns about a child's health?
The NHS is supposed to be quite decent after all. Or is it that case that it's working better for pushy sharp-elbowed middle class people than for the poor that are easily dismissed by overworked medical staff.
So is that down to poverty or education, lack of communication skills, confidence?
There are plenty of low income people that have the confidence to ask for a second opinion. I'm not convinced that the root cause is the lack of money.
(btw it says 50% higher in the summary but if you look at the linked that it's actually 35% and falling)

As for the fourth one, I think that part of that is work hazard and part is lifestyle, nothing is directly down to poverty.

In conclusion, yes you can say that poverty has something to do with all of them but I'm completely unconvinced that it's the root cause, and if that was correct than tackling poverty per se would not improve these indicators.

And if fact in the study they are dividing the population between manual and non manual background, this at first may look like just another euphemism for poor, but in fact it's saying that it's not about income, it's class divide.

As I said in the paragraph about infant deaths, I have the feeling that there are those low income or even very low income people that are nevertheless well educated, culturally middle-class if you want, that can get the most out of public provision, and in the case of NHS this is a crucial difference between them and those with just as little income but much worse communication skills, something that's worth just as money when living in an organized society.

Anonymous said...

The stats are dodgy, you can't read anything meaningful into them.

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