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Analysis shows causes of early death and ill health in Scotland

Would a greater focus on tackling inequalities lead to a healthier Scotland?


The main causes of early death and disability in Scotland vary depending on where people live, according to a report from NHS Health Scotland.


Drug use disorders, ischaemic heart disease, depression, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are the five biggest causes of early death or years lost to disability in the most deprived areas, based on figures for 2016.


The top five causes for those in the least deprived areas are low back and neck pain, sense organ diseases, ischemic heart disease, migraine, and depression. Even where conditions overlap, the burden is higher in the most deprived areas.


Study lead Diane Stockton said the results showed that it was vital to improve the life circumstances of people in the poorest areas of Scotland to prevent their early death or avoidable ill health.


Further information

NHS Health Scotland: Twice as likely to die early or live with ill health if you live in the poorest areas