An elderly patient being assisted by a nurse

Not everyone will live to the same age and not everyone will enjoy equally good health throughout their life.

In recent years, some of the most well-cited reports on health inequality include:

  • Equally Well Report (2008 and follow-up of 2010)
  • Audit Scotland's Health Inequalities in Scotland of 2012
  • the annual Scottish Health Survey (2014)

Health and wealth

Health inequalities are most significant between the richest and poorest in society and the parts of Scotland (and the UK) in which these people live.

For example, males living in the affluent (rich) Glasgow suburb of Lenzie can expect to live to the age of 82. Males in the city's Calton area (eight miles from Lenzie) have a life expectancy as low as 54.

Life expectancies of people born in Lenzie, an affluent area in Scotland, compared to Calton, a deprived area, and how these compare to the rest of the world.

Health and gender

Significant health inequalities also exist between men and women as well as between people from ethnic minority backgrounds and the population as a whole.

Evidence from a range of reports shows that, on average, women live at least five years longer than men. For almost all causes of death the statistics are worse for men than women.

Health and ethnic group

There is some limited evidence that people from ethnic minority backgrounds often experience poorer health and have lower life expectancy then the majority population. However, the figures vary considerably within ethnic minority groups.

For example, within the UK‘s ethnic minority groups, Bangladeshi men had a life expectancy of only 72.7 years compared to Chinese men at 78.1 years. (Source: Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Report 2010)