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Health of Scotland’s population - Mortality Rates

Mortality Rates

Mortality rates from Scotland's leading causes of death- including cancer, coronary heart disease (CHD), respiratory conditions and stroke- are declining long term following lifestyle improvements and improved health care.

The overall mortality rate has dropped by 27%, from 1,560 per 100,000 in 1994 to 1,136 per 100,000 in 2016. This reflects a cumulative decline in cancer (18%, to 311 per 100,000), CHD (66%, to 134 per 100,000), respiratory conditions (25%, to 149 per 100,000) and cerebrovasuclar (including stroke) mortality (60%, to 85 per 100,000) between 1994 and 2016. 

The chart below illustrates mortality rates since 1994 for these conditions.

Death rates for selected causes, 1994 to 2016

Death rates for selected causes, 1994-2016

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Rates for other leading causes of death have also reduced, including accidents (by 10%) and probable suicide (by 23%).  Alcohol deaths are 41% higher than in 1994, but have declined by 27% since peaking in 2003.

Source: National Records of Scotland (NRS)

Note: Rates were calculated using the 2013 European Standard Population (ESP2013).

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