Scotland releases health inequalities stats

Scotland's chief statistician has released the latest Long-term Monitoring of Health Inequalities report.

The report uses a range of indicators to monitor health inequalities over time. The indicators include: healthy life expectancy, premature mortality, all-cause mortality, baby birthweight and a range of morbidity and mortality indicators relating to alcohol, cancer, coronary heart disease and drug use.

The report has found that significant health inequalities persist for each indicator covered in the report apart from the healthy birthweight indicator.

The relative index of inequality (RII) for Healthy life expectancy (HLE) has increased to its highest level since the start of the time series for both males and females, increasing from 0.38 to 0.47 for males and from 0.36 to 0.45 for females between 2013-2015 and 2019-2021.

The absolute gap in HLE has also increased since the start of the time series for males and females. For males it has increased from 22.5 years in 2013-2015 to 25.8 years in 2019-2021. For females it has increased from 23.8 years in 2013-2015 to 25.7 years in 2019-2021, the largest gap in the time series.

For premature Mortality, the RII has increased over the long term and is now at the highest point in the time series (1.56 in 2021 compared to 1.00 in 1997).

There has been an overall increase in the RII over time for all-cause mortality, although it has fallen in the last couple of years from a high of 2.11 in 2019 to 1.98 in 2021.

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