One in five mothers in the Scarborough area smoked throughout their pregnancy, shocking new figures have revealed.
The report from the Director of Public Health for North Yorkshire also says that children born in Scarborough between 2008-2010 have the lowest life expectancy across North Yorkshire.
A child from Scarborough can expect to live to an average age of 78.3 – which is also below the national average – compared to 81 in Hambleton.
Statistics show that Scarborough is also far above the national average and highest in North Yorkshire for premature death from cardiovascular disease.
The report by Dr Lincoln Sargeant, which provides a “snapshot” of the county’s health needs, reveals there are “stark differences” in death rates between communities within North Yorkshire with the highest rates of early death in areas with the most socio-economic deprivation.
“The link between social and economic deprivation and health outcomes is clear in North Yorkshire and the response to meeting the challenges to the health of the population requires the combined action of all organisations and agencies that influence the wider environment in which we live,” he said.
Dr Sargeant, who is head of the team at North Yorkshire County Council tasked with implementing public health policy, also finds that the ageing population is placing pressure on health and social care services, and that there are high levels of “risky drinking behaviours and binge drinking” across the county.
To combat the issues, he is recommending, among other actions, that health and wellbeing should be “a central consideration in the decision making of all of the organisations and agencies; particularly North Yorkshire County Council, the Clinical Commissioning Groups and the District Councils, recognising that public health is about the big picture in our society not just individual choice and behaviour.”