Life expectancy going backwards in 'many parts' of Scotland, report finds

Life expectancy is now going backwards in many parts of Scotland and has stalled in almost all areas, official figures have revealed.

Men can now expect to live to 77 in Scotland and women having a longer lifespan of 81.1, according to the latest figures covering the cohort of Scots born between 2016-18.

Dundee, Inverclyde, the Borders and Ayrshire are all seeing falls in their life expectancy, according to the figures published by National records for Scotland.

Across the country, life expectancy for men fell by about two days a year, although it increased by just under a day a year for women compared with the 2012-14 cohort.

Life expectancy is falling in many parts of Scotland

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Although recent figures have shown a life expectancy stalling, a trend which is happening across the developed world, this is the first time there has been such a marked decline

Paul Lowe, the Chief Executive of National Records of Scotland and Registrar General for Scotland, said: "The new figures show that the stall in life expectancy growth which we have seen for Scotland as a whole is happening in almost all areas across Scotland.

“However, the rate of change varies amongst council areas with some slowing more than others and some showing falling life expectancy.

"The figures also continue to show that those living in less deprived areas are expected to live longer, healthier lives than those in more deprived areas.”

A slowdown in improvements to deaths resulting from heart disease has been the main factor in the freeze in how long Scots are expected to live. The increase in drugs deaths in recent

years has also contributed the decrease, as well as growing rates of dementia as the population ages.

Males in the most deprived areas of Scotland could expect to live for 13.1 fewer years than those in the least deprived areas, while the equivalent gap for females was 9.8 years.

Deprivation has an even bigger effect on healthy life expectancy with males in the least deprived areas spending 23.0 extra years in good health compared to those in the most deprived areas. For females, the healthy life expectancy gap was 23.9 years.