Thursday, August 15, 2019

The rich live longer and healthier

A boy born in 2018 in one of the 10% most deprived areas of Scotland will live for 13 years less than a boy from the most affluent areas. Girls born between 2015 and 2017 in the 10% most deprived areas in Scotland can expect to live 9.6 years less than those who live in the 10% least deprived areas.

Women living in the 10% least deprived areas can expect to spend 23 more years in good health than those in the 10% most deprived areas. For men, the difference in healthy life expectancy is 22.5 years.

The figures are a stark reminder that deprivation has a significant effect on life expectancy, and an even greater one on healthy life expectancy

While Scotland continues to have the lowest life expectancy in the UK – as it has done since the early 1980s – the figures published on Wednesday suggest that recent improvements have stalled with soaring drug deaths and heart disease to blame.

The head of public health at NHS Scotland, Gerry McCartney, said, “The circumstances in which we live should not impact on health so much that the right to live a long and healthy life is compromised by how much money we have.

Registrar General for Scotland, Paul Lowe, said, “Life expectancy in Scotland has been increasing over the long term, but recent estimates indicate that it has stopped improving..."

While the mid-2018 population of Scotland had reached a new high – for the ninth consecutive year – of an estimated 5,438,100, the country’s birth rate is now the lowest of all UK countries and falling at the fastest rate.  Migration continues to be the main driver of Scotland’s population growth, although net migration has decreased over the past two years.

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