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Last Updated: Friday, 15 October, 2004, 16:27 GMT 17:27 UK
Scots continuing to die younger
Buchanan Street, Glasgow
People living in Glasgow had the UK's shortest life expectancy
Men in Scotland are continuing to die younger than those in the rest of the UK, according to figures.

The Office for National Statistics said eight of the 10 areas with the lowest male life expectancy were in Scotland.

Glasgow was the only area in Britain where the figure fell below 70 - making it 11 years fewer than in East Dorset.

The city also had the lowest life expectancy for women in 2001-2003. The figure of 76.4 is more than eight years lower than in Kensington and Chelsea.

Inverclyde, Dundee, North Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire all appeared in the bottom 10 for both sexes.

Glasgow city 69.1
Inverclyde 70.2
West Dunbartonshire 70.8
Western Isles 71.6
Manchester 71.8
Renfrewshire 71.9
North Lanarkshire 71.9
Dundee city 72
Blackpool 72
East Ayrshire 72.5
The Western Isles, Renfrewshire and East Ayrshire also features in the male list, while West Lothian was the other of the six Scottish areas among the bottom 10 for women.

Tables released on Friday showed that Glasgow's position had not changed in the last decade, even though people were living longer.

The city was also bottom for both men and women in 1991-1993, with life expectancy figures of 68.2 and 75 respectively.

Scottish National Party deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon described the figures as a "national scandal".

"The fact is that people across the country are dying before their time, and all these figures do is confirm Scotland's sick man of Europe status," she said.

"With all the extra money that the executive is spending on the Health Service, it is totally outrageous that on average, men living in Glasgow cannot expect to reach their 70th birthday."

Glasgow city 76.4
North Lanarkshire 77.4
West Dunbartonshire 77.4
Blackburn with Darwen 77.6
Liverpool 77.7
West Lothian 77.7
Dundee city 77.8
Inverclyde 77.8
Manchester 77.8
Salford 77.9

But, despite the new figures, a spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow Health Board claimed things were improving in the city and across Scotland as a whole.

She said: "Over the past few years, we have been working closely with the local authority and other agencies to try and tackle the major causes of ill health.

"This won't change overnight, but a recent health and well-being survey suggests things are gradually changing for the better.

"Although it will be many years before improvements in health are reflected in life expectancy, this is an encouraging sign that work to improve health in Glasgow is paying off."

Most of the 100 local authority areas where male life expectancy was highest could be found in the south east of England.

Only two were located outside England - Ceredigion in Wales and Ballymoney in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland was also home to the only two areas from outwith England which featured in the top 100 for women, Cookstown and Coleraine.

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