Page last updated at 11:23 GMT, Thursday, 24 September 2009 12:23 UK

Scots life expectancy increases

People on Princes Street Edinburgh
Life expectancy for both men and women has improved in the past decade

Life expectancy in Scotland has improved over the past decade but still remains among the lowest in Europe, according to new statistics.

The General Register's Office for Scotland revealed that the average man can now expect to live to 75 - two and a half years longer than in 1998.

Average life expectancy for women has also increased, from 78 to almost 80.

But only people from some Eastern European states have a lower average life expectancy than Scotland.

The figures showed that Scottish men can expect to live about one year less than the EU average, and Scottish women two years less.

For both genders, life expectancy is up to four and a half years lower than the European countries with the longest life expectancy.

The statistics also showed that the gap between the richest and poorest parts of the country remains.

Men and women can both expect to live until 65 in Shetland - the highest in the country - which is 4.1 years more than men and three years more than women in Glasgow, which continues to have the lowest life expectancy.

Scotland lags behind the rest of the UK and western Europe.
Duncan Macniven
Registrar General

Registrar General for Scotland Duncan Macniven said: "These latest figures paint a familiar picture. The steady improvement in life expectancy continues.

"But there is still a big gap between the council areas with the longest and shortest life expectancy, and Scotland lags behind the rest of the UK and western Europe."

Public Health Minister Shona Robison said: "Health in Scotland is improving but not quickly enough and unacceptable inequalities continue to blight the lives of our most deprived communities.

"The removal of health inequalities will not be achieved overnight. But these statistics show that this government's commitment to tackling these as a matter of priority is both right and, I believe, achievable.

"We have already taken significant action to address alcohol consumption, prevent people from smoking, encourage active living and healthy eating and promote positive mental health."



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