Key health challenges

getting active at the beach.Health begins where we live, learn, play and work. Disease arises from a complex mixture of our genetic heritage, the life choices we make and the choices that our environments impose on us.

Life expectancy for both men (79.0 years) and women (82.4 years) in Christchurch is slightly higher than the national figures of 78.0 and 82.2 respectively. Life expectancy is affected by socio-economic deprivation: in 2005-2007 males in the least deprived areas in New Zealand could expect to live 8.8 years longer than males in the most deprived (82.1 versus 73.3).  For females the difference was 6.6 years which is still substantial (84.6 versus 78.7).

There are also marked ethnic differences in life expectancy. In 2005-07 male life expectancy at birth was 79.0 years for non-Maori, while for Maori it was 75.1. Female life expectancy at birth was 83.0 years for non-Maori and 75.1 for Maori.

Disease not only causes illness, it also costs many millions of dollars

Some of the major diseases that cause our communities considerable personal distress and have significant economic and social costs associated with them.  Several of these diseases are listed in this section. We are especially interested on the diseases that can be prevented though good environmental decision making that supports better lifestyle choices.