Scottish mortality in a European context 

Scotland’s health is improving, but life expectancy figures are lagging behind our European neighbours. Health trends are continually changing, however, and our research has assessed how mortality trends in Scotland have changed within a European context. 

The report Still the Sickman of Europe? provides a contemporary summary of Scottish mortality trends over a 60 year period (1950 – 2010) in comparison to 19 other mainly Western European countries.  

Our findings demonstrate that while there have been notable improvements in Scottish mortality for a range of major conditions, there are still many concerning trends, in particular, for all-cause mortality among the younger working age population and elderly women, and for female lung cancer. 

There are two main sets of analyses: 

  1. all-cause mortality trends broken down by gender and by age grouping (infancy, childhood, younger working adults, working age and elderly);
  2. cause-specific mortality trends for 13 causes broken down by gender within the working-age adult population (15-74 years). 

The full report can be downloaded here and the graphs presenting the analyses can be downloaded as Excel spreadsheets below:  

Infant mortality (children under 1 year)

All cause mortality in children aged 1-14 years

All cause mortality in working age adults, aged 15-74

All cause mortality in younger working age adults, aged 15-44 years

All cause mortality in elderly, aged 75 years and over

Oesophageal cancer mortality in adults aged 15-74

Stomach cancer mortality in adults aged 15-74

Colorectal cancer mortality in adults aged 15-74

Pancreatic cancer mortality in adults aged 15-74

Lung cancer mortality in adults aged 15-74

Breast cancer mortality in adults, aged 15-74 years

Ischaemic heart disease mortality in adults aged 15-74

Cerebrovascular disease mortality in adults aged 15-74

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease mortality in adults aged 15-74

Chronic liver disease, incl. cirrhosis, mortality in adults aged 15-74

External causes mortality in adults aged 15-74

Suicide mortality in adults aged 15-74

Motor vehicle accidents mortality in adults aged 15-74