Though increasing number of women on Merseyside, a place near Liverpool in Britain are dying of heart attacks, a lot of them don’t consider it as serious as cancer, researchers and experts note.

Studies reveal that women believe heart disease "is a man's illness". Though heart disease, cancer and respiratory disease are widely prevalent, women have not considered it a big threat for a long time.

Researchers noted that Liverpool and Halton come second lowest to Manchester (79.1) in female life expectancy.

To reduce these mortality rates, special centers have been set up for the elderly across Merseyside. These centers initiate activities such as ballroom dancing, yoga, Tai Chi, and top-to-toe exercise classes, as living in such a deprived area could reduce life expectancy.

Barbara Cook, senior manager of the Active Ageing Centre in Birkenhead, said "I am slightly surprised that Halton's life expectancy is one of the lowest but am not surprised about other parts of Merseyside".

"We have hundreds of people aged between 50 and 101 years of age using our services. One of the women is 92 and she still comes to exercise classes."In another area of Merseyside, Shirley Hall, 75, from Woolton have found a new lust for life. She was 18st (114kg) at one stage, increasing the risk of heart disease. She has been going to Livability classes and has now lost 8st (50kg).

"I am very forgetful and it's just one of those things that I have to put up with, but the exercise classes have definitely made a difference to me, I really enjoy them," she said.