Commenting on the release from The Lancet: ‘Rates of premature mortality are two times higher in the most deprived areas of England, compared to most affluent’, Dr Diane Stockton, Burden of Disease study lead at NHS Health Scotland said:
“We published a report on the Scottish Burden of Disease in August this year. Consistent with the results elsewhere in the UK, we too found that people living in the poorest areas had double the rate of illness or early death than people in our wealthiest areas. In addition, we found that nearly a third (32.9%) of early deaths and ill health in Scotland could be avoided if the whole population had the same life circumstances as the people who live our wealthiest areas.
“The fact that people in our wealthiest areas are in better health and that conditions that cause most of the ill health and early death result from things we can change – like illnesses associated with mental well-being, diet, drug use and alcohol dependency – shows that it is possible to create a fairer healthier Scotland.
“Our report highlighted that to do this, we must improve the life circumstances of people in our poorest areas and prevent their early death or avoidable ill health. This is about more than encouraging healthy choices. It’s easier to access the things that harm our health in these areas, and so no one type of behaviour change is going to solve this problem on its own. It’s about addressing the environment we live, rest, play, work and learn in so that it supports us to be mentally and physically well. And it’s complex. There is no silver bullet, but, with collective effort for a fairer healthier Scotland, we can help to ensure that everyone in Scotland can enjoy their right to the highest attainable standard of health.”
You can find more information on the Scottish Burden of Disease on our Burden of Disease web pages.
You can find more information on the impact of deprivation on health on our Impact of Deprivation on Health web page.