Mapped: Definitive guide to healthiest — and unhealthiest — places in England

NHS details signs of a heart attack

The NHS crisis is far from having abated. While the waiting list for treatment in England reached a record 7.7 million by the end of July, the number of appointments rescheduled due to junior doctor strikes has just topped a million.

With the autumn chill now setting in, and coronavirus cases ticking up yet again, many are concerned about the quality of care they can expect.

People in some areas, however, are in far better shape to brave the winter.

A new study by home blood testing kit provider Blue Horizon analysed a variety of indicators – from the proportion of smokers to cancer rates and average exercise time – to establish a picture of overall health within specific areas. has mapped the local authorities where people are in fighting form, as well as those in dire need of support.

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Top of the list is South Hams. With Dartmoor National Park and the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), it’s no wonder the vast majority of people in the coastal local authority report being physically active (76.3 percent). 

Instances of common diseases are low – with the rate of diabetes at 4.2 percent, cancer at 2.6 percent and kidney or liver diseases at just 1.1 percent. 

All told, the area was found to have a weighted score of 80 out of 100 – higher than anywhere else in the country. 

Despite this, the study noted that even there just over half of the adult population (50.8 percent) had a BMI classified as overweight – testament to what it called a broader concern for the countries a whole.

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Thanks to its great air quality – with annual mean PM2.5 particulate pollution of just 4.9 micrograms per cubic meter of air – South Lakeland in Cumbria came a close second, with an overall health score of 78.1. 

The area was followed by the Derbyshire Dales (76.3), Eden in Cumbria (76.2) and Richmondshire in Yorkshire (76.1).

On the tail end of the chart, Peterborough was singled out as the least healthy city in the country, with an overall score of just 40 out of 100. Relatively poor air quality, a high self-reported cancer rate of 28.7 percent and 60.7 percent of the population considered overweight or obese were to blame for the area’s low standing.

Gosport (50.9) and Portsmouth (52.1) came just behind, particularly due to high rates of alcohol-specific hospitalisations, at 765.7 and 990.5 per 100,000 respectively. Then came Liverpool (52.6) and Kingston upon Hull (53.5). 

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