BABIES born in Lancashire are expected to live longer than before – but life expectancy is still among the worst in the country.

Information released by Public Health England showed girls born in Blackburn now are expected to live to 79.5 years on average, while boys will live to 74.5.

In Burnley, girls can expect to reach 79.8 years, boys will live to 75.4 years.

The figures have improved slightly – in 2010 a National Audit Office report said in Blackburn men would live to 74.2 years and women to 79.2 .

But Blackburn still has the fifth worst life expectancy for men, and fourth worst for women, with only Liverpool, Manchester and Blackpool coming in lower.

Burnley fared slightly better, with women’s life expectancy eighth lowest in the country, and tenth lowest for males.

The figures are in stark contrast to many areas of the country, including Cramlington in Northumberland where female babies are expected to live to 105, and Beggarwood in Hampshire, where girls are expected to live to 104.3.

Professor John Newton, chief knowledge officer at Public Health England (PHE), said: “Life expectancy continues to increase in England. From 2000 to 2012 it rose by 3.2 years for males and 2.4 years for females. However, profound inequalities in life expectancy persist across the country, between men and women and the most and least deprived areas.

“The PHE has provided local authorities with information on the causes of death. Targeting these causes of death should have a significant impact.

“Likelihood of dying early varies widely between areas due to risk factors such as being overweight, lack of exercise, excessive alcohol consumption and smoking, but these factors are also closely linked to economic deprivation and other aspects of the way we live that may be beyond an individual’s control.

“If we are to change the pattern of early mortality public agencies need to work with industry and local people to create healthy communities and healthy places to live .”

In Blackburn the leading cause of death was coronary heart disease, while in the rest of Lancashire it was respiratory diseases.

Death rates in East Lancashire for cancer, heart disease, respiratory diseases, circulatory disease, and stroke were all significantly higher than the averages for the rest of the country.