Deaths in Scotland almost 10% higher than average, with infant deaths increasing

Deaths in Scotland during the second quarter of this year were almost 10 per cent higher than the five-year rolling average, new figures show.

Between April 1 and June 30 of this year, 14,982 people in Scotland passed away, compared to the five-year average for the same period of 13,660 – a 9.7 per cent increase.

Analysis of the causes of death by National Records of Scotland (NRS) found there was no single major factor in the rise, but a jump in a number of diseases.

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Cancer remained the number one killer in Scotland, with 4,056 people losing their lives to the disease – a 0.6 per cent increase on the five-year average.

The second most prevalent cause of death was circulatory diseases (3,808), which showed an increase of just over 6 per cent.

Covid-19 was involved in the deaths of 545 people during the time period.

The number of infant deaths (46) represented a 12 per cent increase, the figures showed, while stillbirths were down by 17 per cent to 36.

Alzheimer’s and dementia deaths increased by more than 7 per cent on the five-year rolling average.

“In this quarter we have seen an increase of almost 10 per cent in the number of deaths compared with the average for this time of year,” said Julie Ramsay, a vital events statistician at NRS.

“There doesn’t appear to be a single factor behind this increase.

“Analysis of the causes of death show an increase across a wide range of illnesses and other causes.”

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Figures released by NRS on Tuesday also showed there were 11,237 births during the second quarter of this year, an 11.5 per cent drop on the five-year average – a continuation of a trend where deaths outnumber births seen since 2015.

The number of marriages was the highest for a second quarter since 1993, with 9,331 couples tying the knot – 26 per cent above the five-year average.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Clearly the Covid crisis has impacted on these statistics, and as recovery from the pandemic continues, the Scottish Government will continue to use the powers we currently have to tackle health inequalities and their underlying causes – but action on that front is also needed from the UK Government who retain many of the key policy levers.”



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