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Lanarkshire is living longer

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 14:00 GMT on Saturday, October 29th, 2011.

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A PUBLIC Health Report, published on Wednesday, has found that North Lanarkshire's life expectancy figures are on the up.

The report, which was published by Doctor Harpreet Kohli, shows that male life expectancy has reached 74.4 years, whilst females had an average life span of 79.2 years. Although there is a regional increase, the figures are still, on average, one year less than the rest of Scotland. 

Doctor Harpreet Kohli said: “People in South Lanarkshire live longer than those in North Lanarkshire; men in the south live 1.1 years longer on average than those in the north and women live 1.4 years longer.

"Increasing life expectancy, fewer deaths from coronary heart disease and a birth rate above the Scottish average are just some of the highlights from Lanarkshire’s latest public health report." 
The 2010 - 2011 annual report looks at the health of Lanarkshire’s population, including health trends and the work being done to improve fitness, health and treatment.

Harpreet added: “I hope the report will be of interest to the people of Lanarkshire as it not only shows areas where health is improving but also where action is needed.

“While the NHS plays a crucial role in improving health, preventing and treating disease, and protecting health, local authorities and others are also important in protecting and improving the health of the public.

“Nor should we forget the role that everyone can play in improving their own health by making lifestyle changes.

“This includes eating healthily, not smoking, reducing alcohol consumption and taking sufficient exercise to ensure people’s health continues to improve in Lanarkshire.”

Continuing, Harpreet also highlighted some of the key findings of the  report, including the ageing of the population.

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“Population projections for Lanarkshire indicate that there will be 28,600 more people aged 75 and over by 2030, an increase of 72 per cent – which will have a significant impact on NHS Lanarkshire services and those provided by the local authorities.

”While there are fewer births than in 2009, the birth rate remains three per cent above the Scottish rate.”

The report which also looks at the biggest causes of death in Lanarkshire found that although over half of deaths are caused by the "big killer" diseases, the death rates were falling.

“More than half of all deaths, 52 per cent, in 2010 were due to the so-called ‘big killer’ diseases of cancer, coronary heart disease and stroke." Harpreet said.

“Encouragingly, over the past 10 years, this proportion has decreased by almost 10 per cent (from 61 per cent in 2001), mostly as the result of a decrease in deaths from coronary heart disease.” 

In the report's foreward, Harpreet highlighted and assessed some of the projects and work being done to help tackle the health issues which are associated to health inequalities, in Lanarkshire; which was the key theme of last year's report. 

He said: “The Lanarkshire Stop Smoking Service and Keep Well have continued to focus on those living in our most deprived communities.

“The smoking cessation HEAT target for 2008–11 was exceeded and the Keep Well project, which targets people aged 45-64 in areas of socio-economic deprivation, is helping to reduce the prevalence of risk factors associated with coronary heart disease, such as cholesterol, high blood pressure, excessive weight gain. 

“In health improvement, the completion of guidance to midwives and public health nurses in diet and nutrition, management of obesity in pregnancy, vitamin supplementation and Healthy Start vitamins has been important. 

“NHS Lanarkshire has delivered over 14,000 alcohol brief interventions in the past three years to people drinking at levels harmful to their health, and a programme of screening for alcohol problems will be embedded within routine nursing practice in the community.”

You can view the full report online, for free, on the NHS Lanarkshire website.  

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