By Kris Jepson
The author of a report into the health of people in England, Professor Sir Michael Marmot, has told ITV News he is "seriously worried" about the life expectancy of people in the North East.
His report, Health Equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 years on, found an increase in the North-South health gap, with the largest decreases in life expectancy for both men and women were seen in the most deprived 10 per cent of neighbourhoods in the North East and the largest increases in the least deprived 10 per cent of neighbourhoods in London.
Watch @krisjepson's report here:
The report found overall life expectancy in England had stalled since 2010 with the lowest in the North East and highest in London.
It also found the life expectancy of the poorest women in England had fallen in the past decade as the health gap widened between the most and least deprived parts of the country.
Sir Michael told ITV News that austerity measures introduced by the government have contributed to “flatlining" life expectancy for the first time in 100 years and worsening health inequalities over the past 10 years.
The Health Secretary Matt Hancock acknowledged the findings of the report and insisted the government's new "levelling up" agenda, which aims at improving the North East economy, should also include "levelling up" the health and wellbeing of people living in the region.