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Exploring potential reasons for Glasgow's 'excess' mortality

Date: June 2013
Category: Report
Work programme: Excess mortality in Scotland and Glasgow
Author: David Walsh, Gerry McCartney, Sarah McCullough, Marjon van der Pol, Duncan Buchanan, Russell Jones

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This report is the latest in a series exploring the issue of ‘excess’ mortality in Scotland, and particular parts of Scotland.

This ‘excess’ is defined as the higher levels of mortality experienced in Scotland compared with other parts of the UK over and above that explained by socioeconomic deprivation. As such, this research does not seek alternative explanations to poverty and deprivation as the driving forces of poor health. The links between deprivation and health are profound, well researched and beyond dispute: the three cities that are the focus for the research described in this and other reports – Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester – have the lowest life expectancy of any UK city because they have the highest levels of deprivation of any UK city. Rather, this research seeks to identify what additional factors might explain the considerably higher ('excess') mortality seen in Glasgow compared with these two similarly deprived English cities and, by extension, that seen in all other parts of Scotland compared with England and Wales after taking into account differences in levels of poverty.

This report describes the collection and analysis of new data for a number of theories that have been proposed to explain this additional mortality. Further hypotheses are being examined in other research projects. A report synthesising the results of all these research elements will be published by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health and NHS Health Scotland in due course.

Information supporting this report is contained in a series of appendices, which are available below.

Appendix A: Descriptive analyses by city.
Appendix B: Results of multivariate regression analyses.
Appendix C: Results of Glasgow-only regression analyses (selected models only).
Appendix D: 'Time preferences' and 'risk preferences' report.
Appendix E: Survey questionnaire.
Appendix F: Ethical approval.
Appendix G: Survey representativeness - comparisons with other survey data.