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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 July 2007, 23:40 GMT 00:40 UK
Deprivation fuels health problems
housing
The study showed heart disease rates are linked to deprivation
Deprivation is fuelling ill health in Scotland, according to new research.

A study of 25,000 men and women across the country found that heart disease was more prevalent in areas with poorer communities.

The report by the Medical Research Council (MRC) said that if social and economic conditions improved, many health problems would disappear.

Despite the link, the study also found issues like mental illness and alcohol abuse were not explained by poverty.

The research was commissioned by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, covering west central Scotland and Glasgow.

The excess alcohol consumption among men should be seen as a matter of urgency by those charged with advancing public health
Dr Linsay Gray
MRC

Director Professor Carol Tannahill said: "This new report reminds us how complex the causes of poor health are.

"Importantly, it indicates that Glasgow's health is likely to continue to be worse than the rest of Scotland unless there is a considerable change in the circumstances of our poorer communities.

"Glasgow's health is already as good as the rest of Scotland in some ways whereas, in others, it is worse than we would expect even given the city's socio-economic profile."

The Glasgow Centre for Population Health was set up in 2004 as part of the Scottish Executive's programme to tackle health inequalities.

'Matter of urgency'

The research found poor health and lifestyle among people with low levels of education, middle-aged men, and women out of work or in low-skilled jobs.

Certain illnesses such as breast cancer were not linked to poverty.

Dr Linsay Gray, of the MRC, said: "The genuinely high level of poor mental health in the Glasgow area raises concern, and the excess alcohol consumption among men in the area should be seen as a matter of urgency by those charged with advancing public health.

"However, improving Glasgow's health remains closely linked with tackling the problems associated with deprivation and poverty."

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said efforts were being made to tackle poverty and alcohol-related illness.




SEE ALSO
Heart attacks 'every 15 minutes'
18 Jul 07 |  Scotland
Liver disease 'doubles in decade'
18 Jun 07 |  Scotland
Heart warning over Scots winters
07 Jun 07 |  Tayside and Central

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