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Last Updated: Friday, 22 August, 2003, 05:24 GMT 06:24 UK
Glaswegians 'live shorter lives'
Buchanan Street, Glasgow
Glasgow came bottom of the list for male life expectancy
People living in Glasgow have the lowest life expectancy in the UK, according to statistics.

The average lifespan of men in the city is more than a decade shorter than in North Dorset, which tops the list for longevity.

The Office for National Statistics survey said that the life expectancy for women was 7.2 years less than in West Somerset.

Health officials blamed poverty for the city's bad record - but insisted that steps were being taken to improve the situation.

The figures relate to life expectancy at birth in 1999-2001.

The survey said that men could expect to live for an average of 68.7 years in Glasgow.

Glasgow - 68.7
Manchester - 69.8
Inverclyde - 70.3
West Dunbartonshire - 70.8
Renfrewshire - 71.7
Dundee - 71.8
North Lanarkshire - 71.8
Blackpool - 72
Liverpool - 72
Western Isles - 72.3
The life expectancy for women in the city was estimated at 76.2 years.

Scottish council areas accounted for seven of the 10 areas with the lowest life expectancy for men, and six out of 10 for women.

West Dunbartonshire and Inverclyde also featured in the worst five areas for both men and women.

North Dorset was the area with the highest male life expectancy, with an average age of 79.3.

Christchurch recorded a similar figure, with East Dorset in third place.

West Somerset was top for women, with an average age of 83.4, followed by Purbeck and Guildford.

'Getting better'

Evelyn Borland, acting director of health promotion with NHS Greater Glasgow, identified poverty and deprivation as the causes of the city's poor health record.

She said: "Glasgow's health record won't change overnight, but things are getting better.

"Major changes are taking place on a city-wide level for the social and physical regeneration of Glasgow, improving the areas where people live.

Glasgow - 76.2
Manchester - 76.5
East Ayrshire - 76.7
West Dunbartonshire - 77.2
Inverclyde - 77.2
Liverpool - 77.3
North Lanarkshire - 77.5
Wansbeck - 77.6
Merthyr Tydfil - 77.6
Renfrewshire - 77.7
"As well as working with the local authority and other agencies on city-wide initiatives to make it easier for people to access healthier lifestyles, we are committed to supporting the wide range of innovative work being carried out by deprived communities themselves."

Scottish National Party health spokeswoman Shona Robison said the statistics were "a national scandal".

She said: "These figures show that after six full years in power in Westminster and four years in the Scottish Parliament, Labour has completely failed to tackle the underlying problems of poverty and deprivation which lead to low life expectancy.

"Under Labour, the life expectancy gap between the top and bottom is widening."

A spokesman for the Scottish Executive said there was "no short-term fix".

He added: "The executive is committed to improve health leaving and life expectancy for all men and women living and Scotland and to reduce the inequalities of life expectancy between the most affluent and most deprived."

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12 Aug 03  |  Scotland
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09 May 02  |  Health

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