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Scottish life expectancy improving

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Life expectancy levels are increasing but Scotland still has some of the lowest rates in Europe, official statistics showed today.

Women can expect to live about five years longer than men, although the gap is closing, according to the Registrar General for Scotland.

Females are now living to about 80.1 years in Scotland, up from 78.2 years a decade ago. Men now have an average life expectancy of 75.4 years, up from 72.7.

East Dunbartonshire, which includes areas like Milngavie and Bearsden, haD the highest life expectancy at just over 83 for women and 78.3 for men. Glasgow had the lowest life expectancy for men (71.1) and women (77.5).

But Scottish men and women have among the lowest life expectancy at birth in Europe.

Men and women in Scotland can expect to live slightly shorter lives, 1 year and 2.3 years respectively, than the European average.

Scots men can expect to live four years less than Swedish men and Scottish women can expect to live 4.9 years less than French women.

The figures were today described as “encouraging” by public health minister Shona Robison.

She said: “In the current financial climate, it is more important than ever to ensure that increasing healthy life expectancy for all Scots remains a priority.

“However, we are all aware that we still live in a Scotland where the poorest in society suffer from unacceptable inequalities in health.

“This problem cannot be solved overnight and it will take generations to see a change.”

The figures cover 2007 and 2009 and compare with similar work carried out between 1997 and 1999.

There were no council or NHS board areas where life expectancy decreased over the 10-year period, according to the figures.


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