The House of Commons Library has published a briefing on the UK Government’s efforts to meet air pollution targets, particularly nitrogen dioxide. It has been estimated that the annual cost of health problems resulting from exposure to air pollution in the UK exceeds £20 billion, and this briefing sets out the UK government’s obligations and response.
The National Records of Scotland have released the figures for births, deaths and other vital events for the third quarter of 2017. The statistics include births, stillbirths, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths, including cause of death. They show that over the longer term, deaths from coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease have decreased considerably whilst the number of deaths from cancer and respiratory disease has risen slightly. There has been a relatively large increase in the number of deaths from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease with such deaths now accounting for around 10% of all deaths compared to 5% a decade ago.
The numbers of deaths that are alcohol-specific are detailed in the statistics. These are based on the new National Statistics definition.
The pilot findings of the Healthy AGeing In Scotland (HAGIS) project have been released. The project is a study of people aged 50+ in Scotland and is the first Scottish study to follow older people over time – the intention is to re-interview members of the study at intervals of two years, and collect data on their economic and social circumstances and on their health. Amongst the first results is the finding that single men are significantly less likely to participate in bowel screening tests than those who live with a partner.
The 2016 Health Survey for England has been published. The survey has been published annually since 1994 and is designed to monitor trends in the nation’s health; estimating the proportion of people in England who have specified health conditions, and the prevalence of risk factors and behaviours associated with these conditions.
The latest Obesity Action Scotland newsletter has been published. Amongst the items featured are recent figures on childhood and adult obesity, reports from NHS Health Scotland, WHO, OECD and the Obesity Health Alliance (also featured in previous bulletins), an article in the Lancet linking diabetes and BMI to cancers and news of recent and forthcoming events.
National Records of Scotland have published figures on life expectancy in Scotland. The associated report looks at how life expectancy varies according to deprivation, council area, health board area and rural or urban areas. The figures show that life expectancy can vary by seven years depending on the council area a baby is born in and by 10.5 years depending on how deprived an area the baby was born in.
Sustrans, in partnership with environmental consultancy Eunomia, have developed a model, described as the first of its kind, to measure air quality benefits from reducing motor emissions due to shifting to walking or cycling. The model aims to support local authorities in making the case for investment in walking and cycling and estimates the contribution of active travel in reducing air pollution – and the subsequent benefits to public health. The associated report states that if the vision, set out in Scotland’s Cycling Action Plan, of 10% of everyday journeys by bike was realised, nearly 4,000 premature deaths would be avoided and £3.64 billion of savings would accrue over a decade. The model, and associated briefing note, video and news story are available at the Sustrans Air Quality page.