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UK lags behind Europe in for key health indicators

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Life expectancy in the UK has risen over the last 20 years, but levels of ill health have not improved and the UK is below average compared with 18 other countries, on a range of important health indicators.

According to the Global Burden of Disease study published in The Lancet, between 1990 and 2010, life expectancy increased by 4.2 years in the UK to 79.9 years.

But some causes of death show marked increases, including Alzheimer's disease, cirrhosis of the liver, and drug misuse.

The best results are for heart disease mortality in which the UK has seen the largest fall in mortality of any of the 19 countries over the period.

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