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Why is this National Indicator important?
We believe Scotland has a proud history and ethos of being a compassionate nation, with a strong sense of social justice and [a belief in] addressing the needs of the vulnerable' through taking forward the Government Economic Strategy: a discussion paper on tackling Poverty, Inequality and Deprivation in Scotland.
Deprived populations have considerably higher levels of mortality from coronary heart disease (CHD). This relationship is evident for all ages, but is strongest in the 0-64 age group, for whom death from CHD in the 10% most deprived areas is 1.9 times more likely than for Scotland overall. CHD also shares risk factors with the other 'big killers', so by targeting CHD, we can target these too.
What will influence this National Indicator?
Premature CHD is caused by factors such as personal vulnerabilities and lifestyles and health-related behaviours - specifically smoking, diet and physical activity. Early life circumstances lay the foundations for later health. Depression, closely associated with poor physical health, significantly increases the risks of CHD. As well as being more likely to develop CHD, deprived populations access health services less. They are affected by the inverse care law which states that 'the availability of good medical care tends to vary inversely with the need for the population served'.
What is the Government's role?
Health inequalities remain a significant challenge in Scotland, with the poorest in our society dying earlier and experiencing higher rates of disease.
In order to agree action to address this unacceptable situation, the Scottish Government convened a Ministerial Task Force on Health Inequalities. This was chaired by Shona Robison, Minister for Public Health and Sport, and included Ministerial colleagues from across the Scottish Government, as well as representatives from local government, NHS, the third sector and the research field. Equally Well, the Report of the Task Force, was published in June 2008. A key feature of Equally Well was the recognition that the only way to tackle health inequalities effectively was to address the underlying causes of those health inequalities - issues such as poverty, unemployment, negative early years experience and physical and social environments. The Task Force's recommendations prompted a wide spectrum of activity across a range of topics and sectors, including the NHS, local authorities, Police and the third sector.
The Ministerial Task Force reconvened in 2010 to review progress since the publication of Equally Well. The report of its review was published in June 2010.
The Scottish Government continues its commitment to targetting resources to those populations at highest risk of unequal health outcomes, where interventions can make a difference. A key expression of this commitment is the Keep Well anticipatory care programme which is targeted at 45-64 year olds in deprived communities in Scotland and delivers inequalities-targeted high risk primary prevention by providing health checks and follow-up treatment where appropriate. To date, over 90,000 patients have attended a Keep Well health check, which covers both clinical and non-clinical risk factors. The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing announced in March 2010 that the Keep Well programme would be mainstreamed across NHSScotland from March 2012.
How are we performing?
The long term trend in the rate of premature mortality from coronary heart disease in Scotland has been consistently downward. Although the rates are at a higher level among the most deprived areas in Scotland, the trend has shown a very similar pattern over time. The latest figure of 95.5 deaths per 100,000 population in the most deprived areas in 2010 compares with 96.7 deaths per 100,000 population in 2009.
Sources: (1) General Register Office for Scotland (GRO(S)); (2) Analytical Services Division - Health (Scottish Government)
Note (1): Rates are European Age-Standardised Rates (EASR) per 100,000 population aged under 75 years.
Note (2): Note that the 2009 figure is based on SIMD09 and all earlier periods based on SIMD06. (SIMD refers to Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.)
View data on coronary heart disease
This evaluation is based on: any difference within +/- 2% of last year's rate suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. A decrease in the rate of 2% or more suggests the position is improving; whereas an increase of 2% or more suggests the position is worsening.
For information on general methodological approach, please click here.
Scotland Performs Technical Note
Statistics Topic Page
Who are our partners?
Related Strategic Objectives
Wealthier and Fairer
Safer and Stronger