Lothian life expectancy divide fears

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LIFE expectancy in the Lothians’ more wealthy areas is among the best in the world, a leading health boss has said.

The figures were detailed as part of a review into the area’s public health record, with those in the zones of least deprivation praised for their lifestyles.

However, the gap between rich and poor remains alarming, and NHS Lothian’s director of public health Dr Alison McCallum said at the other end of the spectrum, data made for much grimmer reading.

Reducing health inequalities is one of the health board’s greatest challenges.

She said: “The life expectancy of the neighbourhoods in the Lothians with the lowest levels of deprivation was among the highest in the world.

“But men in the most deprived populations had a life expectancy at birth below all of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries and similar to that in Mongolia and East Timor.

“Rates of premature death and disability have reduced but those with fewest resources have fewer life chances and accumulate greater exposure to physical, social and environmental harm.”