Scotland's life expectancy amongst lowest in Europe

An elderly lady holds her hands on her lap Scottish life expectancy is four years below the European average

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Scotland has one of the lowest life expectancy levels in the EU, according to new figures from the Scottish government.

Men in Scotland are expected to live for 76 years and women for 80 years.

The Scottish figures are almost four years below European averages of 79.7 years for men and 84.8 years for women.

Glasgow has the lowest life expectancy in Scotland for men and women, while men in the Borders and women on Orkney are expected to live longest.

The figures also suggest that people from the rest of the UK live around two years longer than the Scottish average.

Only Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia had lower life expectancies for men.

While women were expected to lead shorter lives in Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia.

Colin Frischbacher, a public health consultant at the Scottish public health observatory, said: "Scotland's overall death rates are still not great and they don't compare favourably with comparable countries in Europe.

"The good news is that life expectancy is improving fast in Scotland, but not as fast as other countries."

Despite being below EU averages, Scottish life expectancy has risen by seven years for men and five years for women over the past 30 years.

The number of years people are anticipated to enjoy good health was also calculated, standing at 68 years for men and 70 years for women.

Mr Frischbacher said that alcohol-related deaths were "way above" those in Europe, saying: "There is nothing to be complacent about regarding alcohol deaths in Scotland. Substance misuse, smoking and alcohol should all be priorities for health in Scotland."

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