The figures show that in 66 per cent of areas in the north, female life expectancy is lower than the area with the lowest female life expectancy in the south.
88 per cent of northern local authorities also have a lower female life expectancy than the England average while 86 per cent have a lower male life expectancy.
The scale of the issue has led leading experts from over 20 northern universities, Public Health England, the Northern Health Science Alliance and the N8 Research Partnership to form the Northern Universities’ Public Health Alliance (NUPHA).
This alliance includes the University of Sheffield, whose School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) conducts world-leading research in measuring and evaluating public health, well-being and healthcare, translating university research into new treatments and services that will ultimately improve public health.
The initiative hopes to work collaboratively across the region, highlighting both the gross inequalities seen within the north itself and between the north and the rest of England.
Elizabeth Goyder, Professor of Public Health at the University of Sheffield’s School of Health and Related Research and Sheffield (ScHARR) and Sheffield lead for the NIHR School of Public Health Research, said: “NUPHA will be a great opportunity for northern universities to form valuable research collaborations and work together to promote health research and attract vital research funding that will have a great impact for our region.
“The NUPHA will provide a unique opportunity for us to work with a wide range of public health experts and together identify the common challenges and health inequalities we face; creating partnerships that will ultimately make a difference and improve public health.”
Professor Paul Johnstone, Regional Director for Public Health England (North), said: “For so long now the north lags behind the rest of the country economically and in health. New approaches to addressing inequalities are emerging all the time and the NUPHA will be key to supporting practitioners and decision makers with the best evidence.”