Men edge closer to living as long as women

Scots have the lowest life expectancy at birth in the UK. Picture: TSPL

Scots have the lowest life expectancy at birth in the UK. Picture: TSPL

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Scottish men are continuing to close the life-expectancy gap on women.

The average man in Scotland can expect to live to 76.9, after a rise of 3.4 years over the past decade. The increase in life expectancy for women has been smaller, up 2.1 years to stand at 80.9 years, figures revealed yesterday.

But there continues to be an “unacceptable” gap between the expected lifespan in the country’s richest and poorest areas.

Scots also have the lowest life expectancy at birth in the UK.

It has prompted fresh calls to address the poverty which lies at the heart of inequalities, with opposition parties also urging Scots to take “personal responsibility” for diet and lifestyles.

Peter Kelly, director of the Glasgow-based Poverty Alliance, said: “We welcome news that life expectancy across Scotland has increased but it is unacceptable that men born in the poorest areas can expect to die over 12 years earlier than their wealthier counterparts.

“Scotland has the second- highest working-age mortality rate in Europe and more work needs to be done to improve this. If we were to be more successful in addressing the poverty that affected more than 800,000 people in Scotland, we would be able to make a bigger impact on these health gaps.”

Men born in Scotland’s most affluent areas can expect to live 12.5 years longer than those in the poorest parts of the country. Life expectancy for boys born in the 10 per cent least deprived areas in 2011-13 was put at 82.4 years, compared to just 69.9 years for those born in the 10 per cent most deprived areas.

That means that men born in the poorest parts of Scotland can expect to live almost ten years less than the average English male, who has a life expectancy of 79.2 years – the highest of any country in the European Union.

The data from the National Records of Scotland also shows that the gap between life expectancy between Scotland and England has widened over the past three decades, and is now 0.4 years higher for men and women than it was in 1980-82.

Glasgow has the lowest life expectancy for men and women in Scotland, 73 for men and 78.5 for women in the latest figures.

Neighbouring East Dunbartonshire is the local authority with the highest life expectancy for both sexes, with men expected to reach 80.5 years and women having a life expectancy of 83.9 years.

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