FIGURES which apparently show that St Helens women have one of the highest rates of life expectancy in the country have been dismissed as “misleading”.
Reports suggested that the won's women lived to an average of 73, placing it in the lowest five areas in the country.
However public health chiefs in St Helens say the statistics are not representative of the town as a whole.
A council spokesman explained: “The figures being quoted for life expectancy in St Helens are extremely misleading and refer to one small part of the town centre ward. Other parts of the borough are well above the England average with the highest among the top 11 per cent nationally.
“The most recent data from the Office of National Statistics (2010-12), confirms that life expectancy for the borough as a whole is 81.6 years for women and 78.0 years for men.
“We’re acutely aware that there are still inequalities across the borough, but are working hard to improve the situation and with some success.
“In just the last three years we’ve seen a 2.2 year increase in life expectancy for men and a 1.3 year increase for women.
“This is largely due to local initiatives that have helped people give up smoking and reduce alcohol misuse.
"We’ve also succeeded in increasing vaccination take up to reduce winter deaths from flu and pneumonia and introduced projects to get people active and reduce their chances of suffering cardio-vascular diseases.”