This site is intended for health professionals only

Scots "living dangerously" - report

The health of the vast majority of people in Scotland is at risk due to a "virtually universal unhealthy lifestyle" in the country, it has been claimed.

Scientists have warned Scots are "living dangerously" after research found an estimated 97.5% are likely to be overweight, smoke, drink heavily, take no exercise or have a poor diet.

Scotland has higher death rates from stroke, heart disease and cancer than anywhere else in the UK and has a long-established reputation for ill health. Health spending is 16% higher in Scotland than south of the border, a think tank's report said.

Between £212 and £267 more per head of population was spent on health in Scotland than in England, the Centre for Public Policy for Regions (CPPR) found. However, although death rates from major diseases in Scotland have improved over the last 10 years, they are still far behind other regions.

The new study, led by Dr David Conway from the University of Glasgow, was based on data from 6,574 people who took part in the 2003 Scottish Health Survey.

In their paper the researchers wrote: "The Scottish population seems to be living dangerously. Considering five major risk factors to health - cigarette smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, poor diet, physical inactivity, and overweight - nearly the whole adult population (97.5%) have at least one behavioural risk factor."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Centre for Public Policy for Regions