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Health / Isles top for male life expectancy

The Muckle Roe bridge. Photo courtesy of Shetland Islands Council.
Photo: SIC

SHETLAND has the highest life expectancy at birth for males in Scotland, new figures reveal.

For someone born between 2018 and 2020, the male life expectancy in Shetland is now 80.6 years, which is an increase on previous estimates.

When it comes to council areas the lowest rate in Scotland is Glasgow City, which is around 73 years.

For women East Renfrewshire is the highest ranking council area at 84 years. Shetland’s life expectancy at birth for women is 83.2 years.

Nationally the figures, from National Records of Scotland (NRS), do not paint a particularly positive picture.

The average life expectancy has dropped slightly on previous estimates, with the Covid-19 pandemic and drug-deaths responsible for this.

The national average is 76.8 years for men and 81 years for women.

Scotland, though, has the lowest life expectancy at birth of all UK countries.

The NRS explained that the data is “not a prediction of how long someone will live, but is an indicator which summarises the health of the population at a point in time”.

NRS’ head of vital events statistics Julie Ramsay said: “It is clear that the high number of excess deaths in 2020 has led to the fall in life expectancy.

“Our analysis shows that Covid-19 deaths accounted for the vast majority of the fall in life expectancy for both males and females, with drug-related deaths also having a negative impact on life expectancy for males.

“This measure of life expectancy provides an important summary of the health of the population and helps to show how this is changing over time.

“Increases in life expectancy point to a healthier population whilst reductions point to a decline in population health.

“Covid-19 has clearly driven a significant increase in deaths and this life expectancy measure will provide important evidence as to whether the impact of the pandemic is a one-off shock or whether it will have a sustained impact on mortality.”