The West

Where we live affects how long we live
City-country divide: A man in Kalgoorlie has a lower life expectancy than a man in Stirling or Wanneroo. Picture: The West Australian

A Federal Government report has revealed stark differences in life expectancy for men and women depending on where they live in WA.

A woman in Fremantle can expect to live six years longer than a female in Broome or Karratha. And a man in Stirling or Wanneroo can expect to enjoy a lifespan at least four years longer than a man in Kalgoorlie.

The National Health Performance Authority report compares a range of key health outcomes, including longevity, across the nation's various Medicare local regions.

In WA, the State's most long-lived people reside in Fremantle and northern Perth areas.

A man in Fremantle or Stirling has an average life expectancy of more than 81 - the State's highest.

Women in both areas have WA's highest life expectancy at more than 84 years.


But in the Kimberley-Pilbara area, male life expectancy is below 77 and for women it is about 78.6 years. Across the Perth metropolitan area only men in Kwinana and Rockingham have a life expectancy under 80 years. Women in the two suburbs have a life expectancy of 84.5 years.

Curtin University Professor of Health Policy Mike Daube said the link between wealth and health was well established.

"The more affluent you are, the more affluent your suburb, the longer you are going to live," Professor Daube said.

"The fact that you can walk a couple of kilometres and the child's life expectancy at birth can be two years different, that is something the community should be concerned about."

The authority's report shows people in Perth are much more likely to visit a GP or a specialist every year. People in the city average four trips to the GP a year.

In Kalgoorlie-Mid West, the average GP attendance rate is 3.8 a year while in the Kimberley- Pilbara it is just 2.9 visits.

People outside of Perth are much more likely to be considered obese (35 per cent of those in the Goldfields-Mid West) and smoke (20 per cent in the South West).

The West Australian

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