LIFE expectancy fell slightly during 2010-12 for men and women in much of Gwent.

And men and women in Blaenau Gwent continue to have among the lowest life expectancies in the UK.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that during 2010-12, the average life expectancy for men fell in Blaenau Gwent, from 76 years to 75.7; in Torfaen, from 77.7 to 77.6; and in Monmouthshire, from 80.5 to 80.1.

They accounted for three out of just four areas in Wales where life expectancy fell for men during that period.

While the results may be in part down to a statistical blip, and the general trend remains for people to live longer, life expectancy is rising more slowly in most of Wales compared to the rest of the UK, and especially in the more deprived areas.

In Blaenau Gwent, men live an average of 3.8 years longer, based on 2010-12 results, than they did almost two decades ago (1991-93). But in more affluent Monmouthshire, even allowing for the latest slight reduction, men live an average 5.2 years longer.

Slight reductions in life expectancy among women were recorded in seven parts of Wales during 2010-12, and three of these – Newport, Caerphilly and Torfaen – are in Gwent.

Women’s life expectancy remained static in four areas, including Blaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire.

The former has the sixth lowest life expectancy among women out of around 400 council areas in the UK, at 79.9 years. The county borough has been among the 10 lowest life expectancies for women for much of the past decade.

Blaenau Gwent men however, fare little better, with their 75.7 years life expectancy (2010-12) being the 10th lowest in the UK.