Why are Scots sicker than the rest of the UK?
Dr Phil Hanlon and researchers at the Centre for Population Health have compared life, incomes and health outcomes in Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester. They found “deprivation profiles” were almost identical, but premature deaths in Glasgow were 30 per cent higher.
This excess mortality ran across almost all ages, males and females and deprived and non-deprived neighbourhoods. It was not, surprisingly, lung cancer, heart and liver disease were not the factors tipping Glaswegians over the UK average. It was higher levels of drug and alcohol misuse, suicide and death through violence.
Why are some Glaswegians so prone to self-harming and life-shortening behaviours?
Chief Medical Officer Harry Burns cites the work of Aaron Antonovsky, who maintained that a sense of coherence (SOC) is necessary for adult health. The medical sociologist defined the SOC as “the extent to which one has a feeling of confidence that the stimuli deriving from one’s internal and external environments are structured, predictable and explicable, that one has the internal resources to meet the demands posed by these stimuli and, finally, that these demands are seen as challenges, worthy of investment and engagement”.
In other words, good health is a mixture of optimism and control that relies on life being comprehensible, manageable and meaningful. Comprehensibility allows people to perceive events as ordered, consistent, and structured. Manageability allows people to feel they can cope. Meaning allows life to make sense, and challenges to seem worthy of commitment.
Socialist Courier would rather phrase it in Marxist terms - Scots are more alienated. So many people are stuck in meaningless lives they can only self-medicate using drugs, booze or food.
Or perhaps as John Lennon puts it “you can't really function you're so full of fear” and they “keep you doped with religion sex and tv”