Friday, February 08, 2019

Dying Scotland

The rise in life expectancy in Scotland is grinding to a halt, according to two new reports. Scots' life expectancy had fallen for first time in 35 years.
In the decades after World War Two, there was a steady increase in the length of time men and women were expected to live. But over the last seven years Scotland has seen the slowest growth in life expectancy since at least the 1970s. New research has also revealed that death rates have started rising in deprived areas of the country. 
Charity boss Jim McCormick, associate director (Scotland) of the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation, has criticised the systems that "sweep people into poverty". He said "A rising tide of in-work poverty and high housing costs, combined with the benefits freeze, are making it harder for people to achieve a decent life.
Dr Gerry McCartney, head of the public health observatory at NHS Health Scotland, said: "What we see here is a worrying trend. Life expectancy not only gives an indication of how long people are likely to live, but also serves as a 'warning light' for the public's health." Dr McCartney said this pattern gave "cause for concern". He also said that cuts to council budgets and pressures on key local services like social care could be behind the divide.
They found that between 1992 and 2011, it took 5.5 years to add a year to a woman's life expectancy and four years for a man. But current trends suggest it will take nearly 21 years for women to start living an extra year, and 11.5 years for men. 
At the current rate, it will be 2058 before girls born in Scotland can expect to live as long as females in England could in 2016. For males, it will be 2045.

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