Longer life

SIR, — The story on life expectancy figures (Herts Advertiser, October 16) was puzzling. Figures tabulated in the Primary Care Trust s survey on life expectancy had been the outcome not only of those defined in some areas slightly differently in order to

SIR, - The story on life expectancy figures (Herts Advertiser, October 16) was puzzling. Figures tabulated in the Primary Care Trust's survey on life expectancy had been the outcome not only of those "defined in some areas slightly differently in order to standardise numbers" but also by cutting one area out altogether.

Was Harpenden East disqualified for some reason? Or was its omission deliberate? This ward is probably one of the most balanced in terms of social and economic equality and might well have beaten South Harpenden in the life expectancy table.

However, if as claimed, living conditions and affluence have a bearing on life expectancy, residents of West Harpenden would surely have been far ahead of all the others in the table.

This appears not to be so for it is only fourth.

LORNA WANG,

Pigeonwick, Harpenden (East).

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